MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- After more than 30 years of Naval service, crew members, plankowners, family members and friends gathered at Naval Station Mayport April 4, to bid farewell to the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS De Wert (FFG 45) during a decommissioning ceremony.
De Wert completed its last deployment Dec. 23, after successfully completing operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. There the crew provided maritime security in the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa regions as part of NATO's counter-piracy operations.
"I am grateful for the crew's relentless service and dedication to our mission," said De Wert Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Joseph Thomas. "It has been an extraordinary honor to be the decommissioning commanding officer of this amazing ship."
Celebrating years of inspections, deployments, port visits, helicopter operations, maintenance periods and underway replenishments, generations of De Wert crewmembers shared stories about their time aboard the ship.
"Now, with years of perspective, and looking at the ship's history, I am proud to have been part of starting her out and to be part of the De Wert family," said plankowner Jerry Miller.
The ship was commissioned Nov. 19, 1983 and named after Hospital Corpsman Richard De Wert, who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after repeatedly entering the battlefield in order to aid the wounded and bring them to safety.
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