By Journalist 3rd Class Cynthia R. Smith, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific
USS Vincennes (CG 49) Sailors, past and present, paid tribute to Vincennes and its 20 years of service to the U.S. Navy during a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Base San Diego June 29.
The guest speaker for the event was the mayor of Vincennes, Ind., Terry Mooney. During the ceremony, he spoke about how the decommission ceremony was a bittersweet moment for him.
"Today is kind of a somber day for me. We have had a ship carrying the Vincennes name representing us for almost 70 years, and to not have one now feels like we have lost a loved one," Mooney said. “Meeting and getting to know the crew has made it even harder, but we are proud of this ship and its crew, and it will be truly missed.”
After Mooney addressed the crew and their guests, the commanding officer of Vincennes, Cmdr. Mark J. Englebert, praised his crew for their hard work and explained that it was a hard day for him as well.
"It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as the last commanding officer of Vincennes,” said Englebert. “The ship has a lot of life still left in her, and it is hard to let her go.”
For the crew of Vincennes, witnessing the decommissioning of their ship was also sentimental.
“It has been quite an experience,” said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 3rd Class (SW) Steven Tilles. “I have spent more than two years serving aboard Vincennes and have experienced many things I will never forget, but the thing I am most sad to see go is the crew. We were a very tight-knit crew, and I will be losing a lot of good friends.”
Vincennes is named after a decisive battle fought at Vincennes during the American Revolution. Vincennes was commissioned in July 1985 and since then, Vincennes has sailed the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean; operated with countless nations; and represented the United States on many international and domestic shores.
“Vincennes has had a distinguished career of superb service both at home
and abroad,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ferdinand A. Reid, executive officer of Vincennes. “I will remember with fondness and pride my time aboard.”