NORFOLK (NNS) -- Cmdr. Cory Blaser, commanding officer of USS Nicholas (FFG 47), decommissioned the ship during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk March 10; 30 years ago to the date in which it was placed into commission in 1984.
Nicholas' commissioning commanding officer, retired Vice Adm. James F. Amerualt, was the guest speaker while Commodore, Destroyer Squadron 26, Capt. Cary Krause presided over the decommissioning event.
"I'm proud of this ship's history and feel like this crew successfully carried on the proud heritage of ships named Nicholas," said Blaser.
During the last few years in the Atlantic Fleet, Nicholas completed a 5th and 6th Fleet Standing NATO Maritime Group to Counter Piracy Task Force deployment, supporting Operations Active Endeavor and Ocean Shield. The guided-missile frigate and her crew patrolled both the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea in support of Operations Active Endeavor and Ocean Shield, NATO's counter piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa.
Nicholas also participated in exercise FRUKUS, a multinational exercise that aids in talks between France, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. Sponsorship rotates between the four navies, with the lead nation traditionally providing a blend of professional and cultural activities.
"This ship logged a very busy service life enduring nine deployments in the last seven years," Blaser explained. "She transited the Panama and Suez canals, the English Channel, the straits of Hormuz, Gibraltar and Sicily. This crew and this ship have certainly honored its predecessors and, of course, the Nicholas name."
FFG 47 was the third U.S. Navy ship and the first frigate to be named for Philadelphia native Maj. Samuel Nicholas who the Continental Congress named as the first commanding officer of the Marines in 1775. A year later, he conducted the first amphibious landing in leading 200 Marines and 50 Sailors at Fort Montague, in Nassau, Bahamas, storage site for British ammunitions.
Nicholas is slated to be offered for foreign military sales.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant/.