Sailors and guests bade farewell to Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) as the ship concluded 25 years of naval service during a decommissioning ceremony on Naval Station Everett (NSE), Washington, Nov. 12.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates joined the crew in honoring Ingraham and her many years of service by acting as the guest speaker at the ceremony.
Several former crew members, plankowners, friends and family also attended.
Ingraham's last commanding officer, Cmdr. Daniel Straub kicked off the ceremony and put into context the ship's place in the history of the Navy during her time in service.
"During 25 years of service to the nation, Ingraham has answered America's call; Ingraham has always been ready, willing and able to fulfill mission requirements," said Straub.
The decommissioning ceremony, a time-honored naval tradition, retires a ship from service through a variety of ceremonial observances, including the department heads' final reports, lowering of the ship's commissioning pennant and Sailors walking off the ship while a bugler plays "Taps." The ceremony is meant to pay respect to the ship and the Sailors who have served in her over decades of honorable service.