USS Elrod (FFG-55), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is a ship of the United States Navy named for Captain Henry T. Elrod (1905–1941), a Marine aviator who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the defense of Wake Island in World War II.
Elrod was built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine, and was commissioned on 18 May 1985. The ship was originally home ported in Charleston, SC and shifted to Norfolk, VA in March, 1995. Elrod has completed five deployments to the Persian Gulf, three to the Mediterranean Sea, and one to the Adriatic Sea, and has participated in numerous operations in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Caribbean Sea.
Elrod's third Persian Gulf deployment followed Operation Desert Storm and supported aggressive air and surface surveillance operations. Elrod conducted naval exercises with units of Gulf Cooperation Council nations to strengthen and further develop the bonds that were forged during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The ship participated in TEAMWORK '92, NATO's Arctic Ocean anti-submarine exercise, and Operation Sharp Guard, in support of multi-national enforcement of United Nations sanctions and embargoing war materials to the Balkans. Elrod demonstrated America's commitment to her NATO allies by providing a presence among the Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean (SNFM) and Standing Naval Forces Atlantic (SNFL) during Operation Enduring Freedom. Recently, Elrod completed another NATO deployment in 2004 in support of Operation Active Endeavor, and helped protect the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, in Operation Distinguished Games.
Elrod crew members have served with pride and distinction as ambassadors of America and spokesmen for the US Navy, hosting official and unofficial visits for foreign military, business and civilian dignitaries throughout the world, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Bulgaria, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Italy, France and Croatia. Elrod has sailed the major oceans of the world, transited the Panama and Suez canals, crossed the equator and the Arctic Circle.
In addition to a reputation for operational readiness and fighting skills, Elrod has earned a reputation for community support and participation in charitable projects. The ship has been recognized for the crew's contributions by designation as a Presidential "Point of Light". Elrod has also earned numerous awards during her commissioned service, including the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, several Battle Efficiency Excellence Awards, Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award, Armed Forces Recreation Society Award and various departmental and mission-specific awards for excellence. The current captain of the Elrod is Comndr. John R. Callaway.