After this intensive underway schedule, the ship was ready for its fourth and final overhaul. Late 1984, GREENLING arrived September 22, 1984, at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire for extensive upgrading of numerous systems, particularly the ship's fire control systems. This overhaul period lasted 35 months until September 1987, when GREENLING commenced sea trials and post-overhaul training operations. The ship returned in early October to New London, Connecticut after a three-year absence from homeport for continued operations as a unit of SUBRON TEN. The year concluded with post-overhaul operations in the Caribbean.

Upon return to New London, Commander Stephen W. Zavadil, USN, relieved Commander O'Neil as Commanding Officer on December 18, 1987. In 1988, the ship completed the series of postoverhaul testing, inspections, certifications and repairs. In May 1988, seven months after the completion of overhaul, the ship deployed for its final time to the Mediterranean Sea and answered an intense Mediterranean operating schedule, winning the Sixth Fleet HOOK'EM Award for Anti-Submarine Warfare Excellence. The deployment also brought port calls to Gibraltar, Toulon, France, and La Maddalena, Italy. After returning November 1, 1988, from the deployment, the ship was awarded the Atlantic Fleet Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for the greatest improvement in battle readiness for fiscal year 1988.

GREENLING Moored Alongside USS HAYLER (DD 997) Rio de Janeiro, October 1990 1989 brought GREENLING a myriad of operations in the local and southern waters for various training exercises. In October, GREENLING deployed to the Western Atlantic for nine weeks, then returned home for the end of the year. GREENLING 's continued success under Commander Zavadil in 1989 resulted in the ship earning the Battle Efficiency "E" for Submarine Squadron TEN. 1990 began with the first post-overhaul Selected Restricted Availability. Following SRA, GREENLING headed to southern waters for proficiency exercises and acoustic trials.

On May 29, 1990, Commander James A. Campbell, USN, relieved Commander Zavadil as Commanding Officer. GREENLING deployed June 28, 1990, for joint exercises with the navies of South America in UNITAS XXXI. Circumnavigating South America over the next five months, GREENLING visited fifteen ports while conducting extensive naval exercises with the navies of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. In addition to ports of call in each South American country, GREENLING visited Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, and Port of Spain, Trinidad.

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