USS SIMPSON (FFG-56) is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate of the United States Navy, named for Rear Admiral Rodger W. Simpson.
SIMPSON was laid down at Bath Iron Works, Maine, on February 27, 1984, launched on August 31, 1984 and commissioned on 21 September 1985.
SIMPSON was deployed to the Persian Gulf in January 1988, as an escort to reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq War. On April 17, 1988, SIMPSON took part in Operation Praying Mantis, the U.S. response to the mining of the frigate Samuel B. Roberts, which hit an Iranian M-08 mine on April 14, 1988.
On 18 April, SIMPSON, along with USS Wainwright and USS Bagley, destroyed Iranian naval and intelligence facilities on the oil platform Sirri in the Persian Gulf. Later that day, the ships encountered the Iranian Kaman Class (Combatte II type) missile patrol boat Joshan, which launched a Harpoon missile. SIMPSON immediately returned missile fire, striking Joshan in her superstructure. Joshan was then sunk by combined gunfire. SIMPSON was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and the Combat Action Ribbon for this operation, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for the deployment.
SIMPSON’s 29 years of sea worthiness has taken her on numerous successful deployments in the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Sea. Her most recent missions have been centered around her 2011 modification with the Firescout (MQ-8B) Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical (VTLT) Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAV). With this asset, she departed 14 November 2014 for her final deployment to conduct theater security operations in the U.S 6th Fleet Area of Operation and the Horn of Africa. She is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 14 home ported in Mayport FL and will be the last Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate in the U.S Fleet to decommission later this fall.