U.S. Navy frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) returned from its final deployment Dec. 12, where it operated in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
The ship will begin to make preparations for decommissioning after 30 years of service.
During this final deployment, Vandegrift played an integral part in the counter-transnational organized crime (C-TOC) mission Operation Martillo (Spanish for “hammer”).
While participating in Operation Martillo, Vandegrift intercepted approximately 19,833 pounds of cocaine and disrupted numerous other illegal drug shipments.
Rear Admiral Stephen Mehling, USCG, director, JIATF South, said:
Vandegrift’s contributions were critical to the successes of law enforcement in seizing illicit cargo.
The ship also participated in three community relations (COMREL) projects in Panama City during which 36 Sailors helped build a workshop for the blind, assist an outreach group in refurbishing their building and spent time with children in the Aid for AIDS community.
Vandegrift, named for Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, U.S. Marine Corps, was built at Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle, Washington and was commissioned Nov. 24, 1984. The ship completed eight years of service in Yokosuka, Japan, in support of Forward Deployed Naval Forces, departing Aug. 14, 2006, to make San Diego its new homeport.
Press release, Image: US Navy