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USS Pioneer (MCM 9)

- Naval Reserve Force -

USS PIONEER is the ninth AVENGER class Mine Countermeasures Ship and is currently part of the NRF. USS PIONEER is the second ship in the Navy to bear the name.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: June 5, 1989
Christened: August 25, 1990
Commissioned: December 7, 1992
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
Homeport: Sasebo, Japan
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 PIONEER. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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History of USS PIONEER:

USS PIONEER, the ninth ship of the class and the second ship of the Fleet to bear the name, was laid down by Peterson Builders, Inc., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on 5 June 1989. Mrs. Sally McGuire Tobin christened the ship on 25 August 1990. Construction and fitting out progressed on schedule and, on 14 August 1990, LCDR Jerry Ballance, USNR, accepted PIONEER on behalf of the Navy from Mr. Ellsworth Peterson of Peterson Builders. PIONEER began her commissioned service on 1 September 1992 and, after completing initial crew training, sailed to her new homeport of Ingleside, Texas. PIONEER was formally commissioned 7 December 1992, a tribute to the many U.S. servicemen who had served at Pearl Harbor.

In January 1993, PIONEER began an intense shakedown year filled with numerous evaluations, training periods, exercises, and inspections. These included the first major mine warfare exercise in the western Gulf of Mexico, two visits to the Magnetic Silencing Facility in Charleston, South Carolina, port visits to Port Canaveral and Port Everglades, Florida, an Operational Propulsion Plant Examination, Combat Systems Qualification and Testing in Panama City, Florida, mine sweeping performance trials, Final Contract Trials, and a Logistic Management Assessment. For the remainder of 1993 and throughout 1994, PIONEER continued her aggressive training cycle and conducted post-shakedown maintenance, repairs, and pre-deployment exercises.

In February 1995, PIONEER set sail for Europe on her maiden cruise. During this deployment, PIONEER participated in Exercise BLUE HARRIER '95 and visited Bermuda, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Russia, Portugal, Italy, and Spain. She returned to Ingleside in August and, after a well-deserved break, began her next training cycle.

In January 1996, PIONEER joined USS WARRIOR (MCM 10), USS GLADIATOR (MCM 11), and USS CHIEF (MCM 14) as a training ship for the Mine Force’s Rotational Crews. For the next four years, the Navy’s eight Mine Countermeasures Rotational Crews conducted their pre-deployment training in these Ingleside-based ships before completing a six-month deployment in the Arabian Gulf in USS ARDENT (MCM 12) or USS DEXTROUS (MCM 13). But by early 2000, the Navy no longer manned its forward-deployed MCM ships with rotational crews, and on 20 January 2000, the remaining members of MCM Rotational Crew BRAVO embarked in PIONEER - a ship they knew well - as her permanent crew. PIONEER now serves in Mine Countermeasures Squadron ONE, the Squadron responsible for planning and overseeing the Navy’s Mine Countermeasures operations in the Western Pacific.

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The photo below was taken by me and shows the PIONEER at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 23, 2010.

The photo below was taken by me and shows the PIONEER at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 15, 2012.

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