USS Curts Decommissioned After 29 Years of Service


Story Number: NNS130129-06Release Date: 1/29/2013 7:06:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Behnke, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Guided-missile frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) concluded 29 years of service to the Navy during a decommissioning ceremony Jan. 25 at Naval Base San Diego.

The ceremony was attended by nine former Curts commanding officers, several former crewmembers as well as grandchildren of the ship's namesake, Adm. Maurice Curts.

"I have daily affirmation that Curts was the best command I could have ever dreamed of inheriting," said Curts' final commanding officer, Cmdr. Fermin Espinoza. "I'm proud to be able to say that this ship will leave the fleet the same way it came into the fleet - ready to fight."

Espinoza recently returned with Curts from its final deployment, where the Sailors seized contraband worth an estimated 26 million dollars.

Curts and other Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates joined the fleet as replacements for World War II-era destroyers and 1960s-era frigates.

"The ship was brought on to be an inexpensive replacement for ships that had served their useful lifespan," said Curts' commissioning commanding officer, retired Capt. James R. Tinsley III. "I think if you look at the accomplishments of the ships and Curts, you can see that they went maybe over and above what their critics expected."

Over the years, Curts played integral roles during Operation Desert Storm, the Global War on Terror and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Curts also conducted anti-piracy and counter-narcotics operations, including a mission that led to the largest maritime seizure of cocaine (12 tons) in history.

"Curts will forever hold a special place in my heart," said Espinoza just prior to reading the decommissioning orders. "If my ship could speak today she would utter the words that now capture my thoughts; I suppose I must go, but I wish I could stay."

Curts will be transferred to the inactive reserves Feb. 27.

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacensandiego/.

STORY COMMENTS1 COMMENT
1/30/2013 12:11:00 PM
I have recently started looking at your posts as my son, Timothy Samuel Fountain, is now a Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate. I am anxious to understand things about the Navy and didn't learn from my father, Samuel Aaron Clayman who was a Vet, but who passed-away from cancer at age 38. Question: Was this ship "retired" because it is no longer useful or because of budget cuts to the military? I am deeply concerned about the lack of concern our government seems to have about our military.

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RELATED PHOTOS
Sailors aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) man the rails during the ship's decommissioning ceremony.
130125-N-BC134-269 SAN DIEGO (Jan. 25, 2013) Sailors aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) man the rails during the ship's decommissioning ceremony. Curts was commissioned Oct. 8, 1983 at Naval Station Long Beach. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Grandin/Released)
January 28, 2013
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