By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Brown, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
EVERETT, Wash. – The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Ford completed her last operational underway July 26, returning to her homeport at Naval Station Everett (NSE).
The five-day underway saw the Ford participate in a Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) -directed torpedo testing exercise and the final offload of ammunition at Naval Magazine Indian Island (NMII).
“It’s an honor to be selected for this tasking, “said Lt. j.g. Katherine Rovinski, anti-submarine warfare officer. “It’s nice to know that Ford’s contributions to the Navy will carry on well past her final days.
The ammunition offload saw more than 125,000 rounds of munitions removed from the ship.
“The crew did an outstanding job,” said Ford’s Command Senior Chief Kawika Kahihikolo. “They worked tirelessly to complete the offload ahead of schedule. With this being the crew’s last major task, they really wanted to prove themselves, and they did that.”
Following the offload, the Morale, Welfare Recreation (MWR) committee hosted a steel beach picnic and games on the flight deck for the crew.
“We’re just a big family having our last laughs together,” said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Jordan Esquivel. “It’s great to share these last memories together before everyone goes their separate ways.”
Ford arrived at NSE to a roaring ovation from family and friends eagerly waiting to see the ship pull in for last time.
“During the Ford’s last operational underway, the crew performed at the highest level of professionalism, and we were able to accomplish our mission successfully,” said Cmdr. Joseph Shuler, Ford commanding officer. “It has been an honor to serve as the Ford’s final commanding officer, and I am proud of the accomplishments of the ship and her crew.”
The Ford is scheduled for decommissioning Oct. 31.