Navy’s last frigate prepares for final deployment

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jan 06, 2015

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - The USS Kauffman will deploy from Naval Station Norfolk this week, marking the final deployment for an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate.

Frigates have been a part of the U.S. Naval Fleet for decades and are now being replaced by newer classes of ships.

The USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG 7), the first of the class, was commissioned in 1977.

The USS Kauffman (FFG 59) was commissioned in 1987.

"It's a very flexible platform and a lot of sailors have served on this platform. It’s very humbling to be the last sitting CO of the last frigate that’s going to be in commission," Commander Michael Concannon, Commanding Officer of the USS Kauffman, told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Tuesday.

The USS Kauffman is expected to complete a 6-month deployment in the U.S. 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Upon return, the Kauffman is scheduled to be the last of the Oliver Hazard Perry class to be decommissioned during a ceremony in September.

"We are equally excited to be the last frigate in commission and to honor the memories of all the sailors that have served on this class of ship in the past," CDR Concannon stated.

Already, generations of sailors who found their way in the Navy while serving on the frigates have expressed a desire to be a part of the final salute.

"They are excited to have been part of a legacy. They understand the importance of being on a ship class that will no longer with us and many are very interested in being a part of the decommissioning," CDR Concannon explained.

The USS Kauffman was originally slated to deploy Wednesday, but that was delayed by one day to Thursday due to weather. On Thursday, the ship had issues with the anchor and the deployment was pushed back again.