Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kauffman to deploy Thursday, the last frigate cruise

Kauffman to deploy Friday, the last frigate cruise: The frigate Kauffman will depart on its final deployment Friday, a day later that had been scheduled.

It will be the last deployment for an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate.

While there have been 51 frigates of the Oliver Hazard Perry class, the Navy has reduced that number to single digits. Lawmakers and Navy leaders, faced with diminishing budgets, made the decision to sell most frigates to foreign navies as the ships' hulls hit their three-decade lifespan.

The service will bid farewell to its remaining FFGs — McClusky, Vandegrift, Taylor, Gary, Elrod, Simpson, Samuel B. Roberts, Kauffman, Rodney M. Davis and Ingraham – this year. McClusky is scheduled to be decommissioned on Jan. 14. Congress on Dec. 18 authorized that frigate and Curts to be transferred to Mexico. The frigates Taylor, Gary, Carr, decommissioned on March 15, 2013, and Elrod will go to Taiwan.

Kauffman will be the last to be decommissioned, in October, marking the first time in more than 70 years that the fleet will be without a frigate.