INGLESIDE, Texas (NNS) -- Two Osprey-class coastal mine hunters were decommissioned June 15 in formal ceremonies at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas.
USS Osprey (MHC 51), the lead ship in the Osprey-class, was decommissioned during a ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. USS Robin (MHC 54), was decommissioned during a ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m.
"This ceremony marks the end of the life of a warship that served its country proudly," said Cmdr. Keith A. Knutsen, during the Osprey decommissioning ceremony. Knutsen commands both Osprey and Robin.
"However, I see this ceremony as something more than marking the end," Knutsen added. "I see it also as the beginning - the beginning of a new era of mine warfare. Osprey and her sisters' retirements are making the way for a new class of warship known as the littoral combat ship or LCS.
"LCS will continue where Osprey leaves off by carrying on and refining the Navy's critical mission of countering mine threats to this nation," he said.
Osprey and Robin will now complete decommissioning maintenance availabilities, then be towed to Beaumont, Texas.
Osprey and Robin are the first two of the 12 coastal mine hunters slated to be decommissioned.
"The process of decommissioning these ships is hard, and it is hard to see these ships go," said Capt. Craig S. Kleint, commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 2.
The 50 Sailors comprising MHC Crew Aggressive embarked aboard Osprey have either transferred or will report to new assignments.
Osprey was christened March 23, 1991, commissioned Nov. 20, 1993, and arrived for homeporting at Naval Station Ingleside Oct. 18, 1996. The 188-foot ship has a beam of 36 feet, displaces approximately 895 metric tons fully loaded, and carries a crew of approximately five officers and 46 enlisted personnel.
Three previous Navy ships have borne the name Osprey: Minesweeper No. 43 (1919-1922); AM-56 (1940-1944), which earned two battle stars in World War II before being lost during the invasion of Normandy; and AMS-28 (1944-1969) which earned 10 battle stars for its Korean War service.
The 50 Sailors comprising MHC Crew Valor embarked aboard Robin have either transferred or will report to new assignments.
Robin's keel was laid June 1, 1992. The ship was christened Sept. 11, 1993, arrived at Naval Station Ingleside April 30, 1996, and was commissioned in Ingleside May 11, 1996.
Two previous Navy ships have borne the name Robin. The first Robin (AM 3) (1918-1945) took part in sweeping the North Sea Mine Barrage in 1919. Reclassified as a target towing and passenger vessel (AT 140) in 1942, she was used for torpedo retrieving and transportation duties. During World War II, the ship became ATO-140 and was used for towing and salvage. The second Robin (YMS 311) (1943-1961) earned five battle stars for her World War II service. In 1946, she was decommissioned and place in service as a reserve training ship redesignated AMS-53. Redesignated again in 1953 as MSC(O)-53m, she continued as a reserve training ship until struck from service in 1961.
Four MHCs are slated to be decommissioned this month, with the entire class being decommissioned by the end of fiscal year 2008. Osprey-class ships were designed to detect, locate, classify or neutralize moored or bottom mines of acoustic, magnetic, contact or pressure type in littoral, coastal and harbor environments worldwide.
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