The US Navy has decommissioned its Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) at a ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, marking the end of its 30-year operational life.
The warship was named in honour of general Alexander A. Vandegrift, the 18th commandant of the Marine Corps. Vandegrift led the 1st Marine Division to victory in the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Second World War.
Camp Pendleton 1st Marine Division commander major general Lawrence D. Nicholson delivered the address for the decommissioning ceremony.
Commissioned on 24 November 1984, USS Vandegrift was most recently deployed last year for operations in the US Naval Forces Southern Command / US Fourth Fleet area of responsibility.
It was part of the counter-transnational organised crime mission Operation Martillo and intercepted approximately 19,833lb of cocaine and disrupted numerous other illegal drug shipments.
Operation Martillo is a joint, combined operation involving the US and 14 European and Western Hemisphere partner nations that targets illicit trafficking routes in the waters off Central America.
During its deployment in three community relations projects in Panama City, Vandegrift crew participated in building a workshop for the blind, assisted an outreach group in refurbishing their building and spent time with children in the Aid for Aids community.
According to 10news.com, the navy will sell the vessel to a foreign navy after removing its armaments.
Image: The US Navy's USS Vandegrift. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.