A San Diego-based guided-missile frigate is scheduled to leave Wednesday for its final deployment before its scheduled decommissioning, the Navy said Monday.
The 30-year-old USS Gary will sail to the waters off Central and South America for anti-drug trafficking missions.
A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment and units from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron 49 will join the Gary and its 240 sailors for the deployment.
The Gary participated in Rim of the Pacific, RIMPAC, operations this summer and held a change of command last fall, when Cmdr. Steven R. McDowell, took over for Cmdr. James E. Brown.
The Navy is phasing out frigates in favor of the new littoral combat ships, which are fast, maneuverable vessels designed for fighting in coastal areas.
The Gary is named after the late Cmdr. Donald Arthur Gary, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for helping to rescue more than 250 sailors trapped below decks when the aircraft carrier USS Franklin was bombed off the coast of Japan at the end of World War II in March 1945. At the time he was a lieutenant serving as an engineering officer aboard the ship.
He died at 73 in 1977. The ship was launched six years later and commissioned in 1984.
– City News Service
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