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USS Guardian (MCM 5)

- decommissioned -

USS GUARDIAN was the fifth AVENGER - class Mine Countermeasures Ship. From 1996 on, the GUARDIAN was forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan. In January 2013, the ship ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines and was estimated to be beyond economical repair and to protect the reef, the GUARDIAN was dismantled while still sitting on the reef. The GUARDIAN was administratively decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on February 15, 2013, and a decommissioning ceremony was held at Sasebo, Japan, on March 6, 2013.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: May 8, 1985
Launched: June 20, 1987
Commissioned: December 16, 1989
Decommissioned: March 6, 2013
Builder: Peterson Shipbuilders, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Propulsion System: four diesels
Propellers: two
Length: 224 feet (68.28 meters)
Beam: 39 feet (11.89 meters)
Draft: 11,5 feet (3.5 meters)
Displacement: 1,312 tons
Speed: 14 knots
Armament: Mine neutralization system, two .50 caliber machine guns
Crew: 8 Officers, 6 Chief Petty Officers and 58 Enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS GUARDIAN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USS GUARDIAN:

January 17, 2013Tubbataha Reef, approx. 400 nautical miles southeast of Manila, PhilippinesUSS GUARDIAN runs aground on a coral reef approx. 0225 a.m. local time. Initial reports indicated no damage to the ship or injuries among the crew. One significant reason for the grounding was an inaccurate digital chart used for the navigation that misplaced the reef by about 8 nautical miles. On January 17, all 79 personnel aboard the GUARDIAN during the grounding were evacuated from the ship with the help of the Philippine Navy.

On January 19, the GUARDIAN is still stuck on the reef and multiple spaces aboard the ship are flooded. While the ship was initially only grounded with the bow, the rough seas have now pushed the GUARDIAN onto the reef with the entire starboard side. The USS MUSTIN (DDG 89) and USNS BOWDITCH (T-AGS 62) have also arrived on scene to provide assistance. Other vessels engaged in the salvage operation include the tug VOS APOLLO, the Philippine salvage tug TRABAJADOR and the USNS SALVOR (T-ARS 52) which is currently en route to the GUARDIAN.

On January 21, the GUARDIAN is still grounded.

The photos below are from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and show the GUARDIAN on the reef on January 17.


On January 24 - one week after hitting the reef - the GUARDIAN is still aground. On January 23, salvage teams started preparing hoses and lines to remove the ship's fuel, but defueling has not started by January 24. Meanwhile, 69 of the 79 GUARDIAN sailors are returning to Sasebo, Japan, aboard the oiler USNS RAPPAHANNOCK (T-AO 204). Ten crewmembers remain on scene. The photos below are official US Navy photos and show the ship's condition on January 22.


By January 25, all diesel fuel and oil was removed from the GUARDIAN and it was reported that the ship is too heavily damaged to be towed off the reef. On January 27, the Pearl Harbor-based SALVOR arrived on scene while two heavy-lift floating cranes were estimated to reach the reef by February 1.

The photo below is a US Navy photo showing the VOS APOLLO defueling the GUARDIAN on January 24. The GUARDIAN has also lost her fiberglass sheating from the hull, now showing the wooden hull.

On January 28, the Navy said that it will no longer try to safe the GUARDIAN but that it will now break up the ship into individual sections and take it away piece by piece. This statement marked the official confirmation of the loss of the GUARDIAN.

The US Navy photos below show cargo being transported from the GUARDIAN to the nearby MUSTIN on January 26.


The photos below are also official US Navy photos showing GUARDIAN's situation on January 28 and January 29 (the third photo).


The photos below are official US Navy photos and show the GUARDIAN being dismantled in late February and early March 2013.



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USS GUARDIAN Patch Gallery:

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