The U.S. Navy’s penultimate frigate is slated to decommission today in a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the service said in a statement.
USS Kauffman (FFG-59) returned from the last Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) frigate deployment in July and following today’s ceremony will be put up for foreign military sale (FMS).
The last deployment — in support of the ongoing anti-trafficking mission in U.S. Southern Command, Operation Martillo — netted the the U.S. 20,000 pounds in narcotics.
The U.S. Coast Guard will fill in the void left by the frigates in the anti-trafficking operations.
“It has been an honor to be part of such a remarkable legacy as a Kauffman sailor and to have led such an impressive and capable group of professionals during the final deployment of a Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate,” said Cmdr. Michael E. Concannon, the frigate’s last commanding officer in a statement.
“These sailors are tough, they are tenacious and they were overwhelmingly successful during our last counter drug mission. They made a difference; they mattered.”
Originally commissioned in 1987, Kauffman deployed more than 20 times and was one of the few U.S. ships to visit the Soviet Union in 1989.
Kauffman and Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) transited the Bosphorus Strait to the Black Sea port of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula to a reportedly warm reception by the locals.
The ship also conducted several missions to Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific.
What will soon be the last active Perry, USS Simpson (FFG-56), is slated to be decommissioned in Mayport. Fla. on Sept. 29.