Total Run: 408 Nautical
Total Average Speed: 5.83 Knots
Hours From Departure: 70 Hours from Blake Island, Puget Sound
Distance To Go This Leg: 774 Nautical Miles to Long Beach, California
Estimated Time Of Arrival: 8:00 a.m., September 21st
Present Course: 180 Degrees due South
Seas: 2 Feet
Swells: 8 Feet Northwesterly
Air Temperature: 57 Degrees
Visibility: 10 miles
Skies: Low Overcast
Position: USS New Jersey is 51
nautical miles due west of the Oregon coast's Sand Dunes, and 55 nautical miles west
northwest of the Umpqua River which flows into the Pacific Ocean just beyond the logging
port town of Reedsport, Oregon in Winchester Bay.
High-Speed Change Of Command Anniversary
On September 15, 1983, at sea near Puerto Rico, the USS New Jersey and her crew
witnessed an atypical U.S. Navy change-of-command ceremony.
The battleship had been running at high speed on her way to the Mediterranean Sea after
being suddenly ordered to get to Lebanon as fast as possible from her previous position in
the Pacific waters of Panama 3 days earlier. She refueled in Colon, Panama, on the
Atlantic side, at 1:00 a.m., September 12, and began her 30-plus knot sprint eastward.
During this transit, USS New Jersey's 16th Commander, Captain Richard D. Milligan,
relieved her 15th Commander, Captain William M. Fogarty. Afterwards, Milligan resumed her
high-speed run to Lebanon. The two commanders were responsible for getting her there
in 12 days from the Panama Canal, at an average speed of 25 knots.
Fogarty had assumed command just after Christmas Day, 10 months earlier, on December
28, 1982, when the battleship was recommissioned for her fourth career. She was
modernized in 1981 and 1982 at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard after being towed from the
Puget Sound Inactive Ship Facility in Bremerton, Washington.
The modernization replaced four twin 5-inch gun mounts with 4 Phalanx Close-in weapons
systems, 16 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, 8 armored box launchers capable of carrying 32
Tomahawk cruise missiles, and a brand new mast for her superstructure.
At USS New Jersey's recommissioning ceremonies that December, she was honored not only
with a new commission, but with the Commander-in-Chief, President Ronald Reagan, aboard to
officiate her formal re-entry into the U.S. Naval Fleet. It was the first and only
time in New Jersey's 57-year career that a President of the United States stepped across
her polished, teak decks.
Following Captain Milligan's command assumption on this day 16 years ago, USS New
Jersey would spend the next 191 days in the Beirut Operations Area, and 178 of those days
would be on station in the eastern Mediterranean in a condition of Readiness III or
"Big Blue Eyes" was back.