The USS Simpson, which took part in a mission during the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, was decommissioned by the U.S. Navy Tuesday in Mayport, Florida, and put up for foreign military sale.
The USS Simpson was the last of the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates that are being replaced by a new Littoral Combat Ships, USNI reported
. The ship will eventually be towed from Florida to Philadelphia.
The ship was part of a three-ship force that made up a retaliation mission called Operation Praying Mantis after the near-sinking of the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts during the Iran-Iraq War in 1988.
The Simpson, along with cruiser USS Wainwright and Knox-class frigate USS Bagley sunk an Iranian patrol boat in the Persian Gulf and destroyed an oil-rig surveillance post in connection with the operation, according to CNN
The incident has been the U.S. Navy's only surface battle since World War II.
"We don't do battles like that anymore," Lt. Eddie Davis, the Simpson's executive officer, told CNN on Monday. "It's a tremendous feat for a ship like this to be able to do."
Mark Tierney, 59, was on board the USS Simpson during that war encounter when the Simpson sunk the Iranian patrol boat.
"We commissioned the ship, trained everybody up, took them to sea and then we made history," Tierney told CNN, adding that 80 percent of the crew was on their first ship. "They were learning as they went."
The ship returned from its final mission in June after traveling to Europe and then the Middle East.
Commander Casey Roskelly told the Florida Times-Union
that 90 percent of the USS Simpson's final crew members would move on to new assignments.
"I love being out at sea," he said. "You get into the rhythm, the routine. There's just something peaceful, you know, going up on the bridge wing at 2 o'clock in the morning, and it's your own planetarium. You can just see forever. The stars are just everywhere, and then watching the sunrise and sunset. There's peace . . . It's a time for self-reflection."
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