The USS Simpson has turned into a ghost ship. Its passageways are pitch black and steamy hot. It's silent, the constant hum of machinery that's the heartbeat of a warship eerily absent. Its windows are covered and ventilation sealed off. Its battle ribbons have been removed, its flag lowered. But the ship still has a story to tell. The U.S. Navy decommissioned the 30-year-old frigate Tuesday and with it shut the back cover on one of the most significant -- yet little-heralded -- stories in U.S. military history.
After 30 years of service the last Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate — USS Simpson (FFG-56) — ceremonially left U.S. Navy service Tuesday at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., according to the service. Simpson’s departure from the service marks the end of the Perrys in the service making way for the roles to be filled by the new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Following the departure of the ship from the service, the ship is set to be put up for foreign military sale.
The United States Navy decommissioned its last Perry-class frigate, reducing the Navy's number of ships that have sunk an enemy vessel to just one. The end of the Navy's frigates marks a new era of naval warfare where ships are less likely to go to battle in the open sea. The USS Simpson removed its weapons, covered its windows, and on Tuesday, it lowered its flags. Now, the ship will travel to Philadelphia until a foreign nation buys it. After 30 years of service -- including an April 1988 battle when it fired missiles at and sunk an Iranian oil platform and an Iranian Navy vessel -- the ship's service came to an end Tuesday with a ceremony at Mayport Naval Station.