Patrol coastal ship USS Whirlwind (PC 11) crewmembers marked the end of the ship’s U.S. Navy service during a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. The nearly 27-year-old ship operated in the Middle East in support of U.S. 5th Fleet’s regional maritime security mission.
“Our patrol coastal ships have made a lasting impact here in the region supporting naval operations and safeguarding maritime security,” said Capt. Robert Francis, commander of Task Force 55 at U.S. 5th Fleet. “This was only made possible by the dedicated Sailors who served aboard these ships for nearly three decades.”
Whirlwind was commissioned in Memphis, Tennessee in July 1995 and began conducting routine coastal patrol operations in the Middle East 11 years later.
The Navy decommissioned four other Cyclone-class ships in Bahrain the past four weeks beginning with Firebolt (PC 10) on Feb. 23. The decommissioning ceremonies for Typhoon (PC 5), Tempest (PC 2), Squall (PC 7), and now Whirlwind’s followed.
During Whirlwind’s ceremony, ship’s last commanding officer recognized the contributions of past and present crewmembers.
“Whirlwind proudly severed our country for decades and her history is written in the stories of the sailors that have served on this mighty warship,” said Lt. Cmdr. Martin K. Dineen. “Life as a patrol coastal Sailor is different from any other experience in the Navy. It’s a tough and demanding life, but that is what makes this crew the best.”
Prior to operating from Bahrain, Whirlwind was stationed at Little Creek, Virginia and supported operations in U.S. 4th Fleet and 6th Fleet. The ship also helped secure New York City’s harbor immediately following terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
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