EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) is scheduled to return from its final deployment to the 4th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Oct. 30 to make preparations for decommissioning.
The ship played an integral part in the counter-transnational organized crime (C-TOC) mission Operation Martillo (Spanish for "hammer") during the deployment. Operation Martillo is a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner-nation effort that targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters of Central America.
Ingraham's crew participated in the operation along with the "Dos Bravos" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Detachment 2 and three U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDET).
The successful joint-service deployment resulted in 14 illegal drug disruptions for a total seizure of 11,937 kilograms of cocaine.
"I cannot be more proud of the professionalism and accomplishments of this integrated team," said Ingraham's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Daniel Straub. "These Sailors and Coast Guardsmen have done an amazing job. The crew members have been tremendous ambassadors of the Navy and the United States. I cannot imagine a better final deployment with a finer crew. Ingraham has certainly lived up to her motto: 'The Last and the Finest.'"
The 25 Sailors and two SH-60B Seahawk helicopters from HSL-49 returned to Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, from the deployment aboard Ingraham Oct. 20. During the deployment, the detachment conducted 900 flight hours.
"Our Sailors could not have been more proud to have served with USS Ingraham on her last deployment," said Lt. Cmdr. Chuck Clark, HSL-49 Detachment 2's officer in charge. "The ship and the crew are the finest I have had an opportunity to work with and the success that we shared during our 4th Fleet operations is a testament to the professionalism and dedication they exhibited day in and day out. While it is sad to see the mighty Ingraham decommissioned, everyone can be extremely proud of its service."
The ship also participated in 10 community relations (COMREL) projects, including those at Helen Keller School for the Blind, San Jose de Malambo Orphanage and Corozal Cemetery where Sailors helped to restore facilities and to distribute school supplies and toys donated by Project Handclasp.
Upon return, Ingraham's crew will begin final preparations for the ship's decommissioning, scheduled Nov. 12.
Ingraham is the fourth ship to honor the name of Capt. Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham (1802-1891). The ship is homeported in Everett and is part of Destroyer Squadron Nine (DESRON) 9, Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
Joint, interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.