The guided missile destroyer USS Cole- DDG-67, dubbed “The Determined Warrior”, recently returned to its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia after 14 months of extensive repairs for damage from a terrorist attack in Yemen, in October 2000. The return of the USS Cole to the fleet is a testament of the determination of her Sailors, who not only fought to keep her afloat in the days following the attack, but also worked endless hours to bring her back to full power.

Being a part of the Cole’s crew during the ship’s historic homecoming, was a landmark in the 14-year career of Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Mary T. Anderson, daughter of Martha Anderson of Fort Wayne. When asked about the USS Cole’s homecoming, Anderson said, “We have worked very hard to make this happen. I’m very proud to see what we have accomplished with our efforts. It is a great opportunity for me to be a part of the crew bringing Cole back to her homeport.”

Anderson, 32, a 1988 graduate of Elmhurst High School, reported aboard the Cole in March of 2002 to lend her expertise as an Interior Communications Electrician to restore Cole’s war-fighting capabilities. “I helped bring all the communication and navigational gear on line,” explained Anderson. “I also contributed to enhancing the crew’s quality of life by rewiring the cable system on board the ship.”

The Cole’s repair process, at the Northrop Grumman shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, involved removing and replacing more than 550 tons of steel and all the damaged structures including cables, pipes, and ventilation ducts. It also included the installation of a new main reduction gear, gas turbine modules, and stern flaps to increase the ship’s speed and fuel efficiency. The ship completed sea trials as well as testing and re-certification of all its combat systems prior to deliver to the fleet.

According to Anderson, with the return of the Cole, the U.S. Navy has not only regained an important asset in the war against terrorism, but also sent a message about America’s resilience. Anderson said, “We will not be defeated. There is a reason why our ship is called ‘The Determined Warrior’.”

The USS Cole is an Arleigh Burke-Class guided missile destroyer. It is a multi-mission warship with anti-submarine, anti-surface, anti-air capabilities. She is equipped with an Aegis combat weapons system. Guided missile destroyers help safeguard carrier battle groups, surface action groups, and amphibious groups. They are equipped to carry surface-to-air and surface-to-land missiles.

With their ship mission-capable, the crew is looking toward future tasks and goals. Anderson said, “We are preparing to succeed in upcoming inspections and getting ready for our six-month deployment.” Anderson and her fellow crewmembers will continue to defend American freedom aboard ‘The Determined Warrior’, not just because it is their duty, but also to honor the memory of the 17 Sailors who died during that terrorist attack in Yemen.

(Ligia Cohen is a public affairs officer assigned to the Public Affairs Center in Norfolk, Virginia.)



U.S. Rep. Mark Souder announced the Fourth Congressional District U.S. military academy appointments on June 3, 2002. “It is always an honor to announce military academy appointments,” Souder said. “They have chosen to serve their country in a way that takes a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. I wish them well and thank them for their service.”

The appointees are:

West Point – Lindsey Nicole Bishop – Northrop High School – daughter of James and Barbara Bishop

U.S. Air Force Academy – Robert George Westfall – Canterbury High School – son of John and Nancy Westfall

U.S. Naval Academy – Tyler Roth Larson – Canterbury High School – son of Terry and Cheryl Larson

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