The USS Kidd (DD-993) was initially built for Iran and then served in the U.S. Navy for nearly two decades in the late-20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd who was killed aboard Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Kidd was the flagship of the Kidd class of naval destroyers.
Kidd was laid down at Pascagoula, Mississippi by the Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in June 1978, launched in August 1979, and commissioned in June 1981 with Commander William J. Flanagan, Jr., in command. At 563 feet in length, Kidd carried a crew of 296 and was armed with two five-inch rapid fire guns, two surface-to-air missile launchers, a Harpoon anti-ship missile battery, a Phalanx CIWS anti-ship missile defense system, six 12.75-inch anti-submarine torpedo tubes, and one helicopter.
Kidd was initially built for service with the Iranian Navy but was taken over by the U.S. Navy in July 1979 following the fall of the Shah. Reclassified as guided missile destroyer DDG-993 in August, Kidd was deployed to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean from December 1982 to September 1983 when she returned to Norfolk, Virginia. Kidd then took part in battle-readiness exercises in February 1984 and, in March 1985, headed for the Caribbean for service during READEX 1-85.
Kidd sailed to the Mediterranean in mid-April, where she called at ports in Italy before joining the 6th Fleet in the Black Sea. The destroyer then operated in the Middle East and arrived back at Norfolk in October. Regular deployments to the Mediterranean followed and Kidd underwent an overhaul at Philadelphia in August 1988, which lasted one year.
In January 1991, Kidd was deployed to the Persian Gulf following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and investigated several ships in the Red Sea before she returned to Norfolk in July. Kidd became the first ship in the Atlantic Fleet to be awarded a sixth Battle Efficiency “E” in December 1992. Kidd was assigned to Carrier Task Force 60 in late-1994, was deployed to the Adriatic Sea, and assigned to duty to the Caribbean in 1996 and 1997. Decommissioned in March 1998, Kidd was transferred to Taiwan in May 2003 as RCS Chi-Teh, towed to Charleston, South Carolina for activation, and delivered to Taiwan again in 2005. The former Kidd was then commissioned as RCS Keelun and was still serving in Taiwan as of January 2010.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Kidd (DD-993)
Workplaces began utilizing ACMs (asbestos-containing materials) late in the 19th century because it was a useful fireproofing material for construction and manufacturing applications. New safety regulations in the 1930s called for a better means of fireproofing on board naval vessels and at the time, asbestos was the material that met those requirements. The Navy deployed asbestos widely until the late 1970s when use became restricted. It was used as an insulator as well as for fireproofing on board all its ships. This created a risk of asbestos exposure for sailors and also put them at risk for developing mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos. As the USS Kidd was built at the very end of the “asbestos era”, it is likely that the ship contained at least some asbestos materials as insulation and for fireproofing.Sources