The U.S. Navy decommissioned the last two Cyclone-class patrol coastal ships stationed at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, March 28, during a pierside ceremony attended by U.S. 5th Fleet officials.
Leaders and crewmembers of USS Monsoon (PC 4) and USS Chinook (PC 9) marked the end of nearly three decades of U.S. naval service.
“I’m honored to be a part of the legacy on this waterfront,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dre Johnson, during the ceremony. “PC sailors are a unique bunch, and only they can understand the amount of work they’ve done and the pride they have in what they’ve accomplished.”
Johnson is Monsoon’s last commanding officer. The U.S. Navy initially commissioned the ship in 1994 and then recommissioned it in 2008 after Monsoon served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard. Chinook was commissioned in 1995.
“With 28 years of crew covering multiple generations, each one was dedicated to the mission, adapting to rapidly changing mission sets, and working together as a team to accomplish whatever obstacle that came their way,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Hartmann, Chinook’s commanding officer.
Monsoon and Chinook are the last of a group of 10 ships designed for shallow-water operations that were stationed in Bahrain. The Middle East region includes 5,000 miles of coastline from the northern Arabian Gulf, around the Arabian Peninsula, through the Red Sea and Suez Canal.
Last year, the U.S. Navy decommissioned and transferred five patrol craft to the Royal Bahrain Naval Force: former ships USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Typhoon (PC 5), USS Squall (PC 7), USS Firebolt (PC 10) and USS Whirlwind (PC 11). Additionally, the U.S. Navy decommissioned and transferred former ships USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Sirocco (PC 6) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) to the Egyptian Navy last week during a formal ceremony in Alexandria, Egypt.
Monsoon and Chinook are slated for transfer to the Philippine Navy. Officials from the Philippines attended the ceremony.
“I’m proud of our crews for reaching this milestone and representing our nation and Navy with utmost pride and professionalism,” said Capt. Anthony Webber, commander of Task Force 55, which oversees operations for U.S. 5th Fleet’s surface forces. “I’m also proud that we are turning over great ships to our Philippine partners.”
Bahrain, Egypt and the Philippines are members of the largest multinational naval partnership in the world called Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Led by the United States, forces from the organization’s 38 nations operate across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international water space in the Middle East. The partnership ensures maritime security and stability in some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.