Deyo Decommissioned After 23 Years

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
By Journalist Seaman Apprentice James Kusher, Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs
The Spruance-class destroyer USS Deyo (DD 989) was decommissioned Nov. 6 during a ceremony conducted in its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. After being introduced by Capt. Thomas Abernathy, commander, Destroyer Squadron 22, the ship's final commanding officer, Cmdr. James A. Pelkofski, addressed the many families, friends, crewmembers, and former crewmembers who attended the solemn ceremony. "What do you say as the commanding officer during the decommissioning of a proud and great warship?" said Pelkofski. "Today is about the men and women who brilliantly manned Deyo for more than 23 years. I simply had the good fortune of bearing witness to the accomplishments that the current young men and women forged as Team Deyo. "Looking in the future, I predict that former Deyo Sailors, spread throughout the fleet, will raise the fleet to the extraordinarily high standards that they magnificently set for themselves and their ship." The 27th ship in a series of 31 Spruance-class destroyers, Deyo was named in honor of Vice Adm. Morton L. Deyo, a veteran destroyerman and distinguished naval gunfire support task force commander of World War II. Since its commissioning, March 22, 1980, Deyo has played a major role in operations in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas, and the Persian Gulf. The ship first deployed in May 1981, when it was ordered to the Persian Gulf in response to rising tensions in the Middle East. In July 1987, Deyo deployed to the Mediterranean, North Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean as part of the USS Iowa (BB 61) Battleship Battle Group. The ship returned to the Persian Gulf in July 1989 to support tanker escort duties during Operation Earnest Will. After completing counter-drug operations in the Caribbean Sea in August 1990, Deyo deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in May 1991 as part of the USS Forrestal (CV 59) Carrier Battle Group. The destroyer returned to the Mediterranean Sea in 1994 as a member of the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Battle Group. In June 1998, Deyo again deployed for the Mediterranean Sea, becoming the first American ship to serve as flagship for Standing Naval Force Mediterranean. During its final deployment in December 2002 with the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Battle Group, Deyo was one of the first ships to fire Tomahawk missiles on Iraqi targets during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Story Number: NNS031107-07 Release Date: 11/7/2003 9:06:00 AM
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