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Historic Navy ship to be decommissioned in Pearl Harbor

  • COURTESY U.S. NAVY
    The amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver was seen during fleet operations in the Pacific on Sep. 30, 1997 as an SH-60 "Seahawk" flew alongside.
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The amphibious ship USS Denver, which has supported U.S. expeditionary forces in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 40 years, will be decommissioned in Pearl Harbor on Sept. 30, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s office said.

"The Denver has performed dutifully in its mission to safeguard America’s interests in the Asia-Pacific and it is only fitting that she be decommissioned at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, ensuring a steady tempo of work for our civilian and military naval engineers," Schatz said in a release. "Hawaii will continue to play a key role in the Asia-Pacific rebalancing, which will be good for our workforce and local economy."

Schatz’s office said the ship will be moved from Okinawa, Japan, to Hawaii. The decommissioning process involves civilian and military engineers, workers, and local contractors coordinating breakdown efforts, ensuring a steady stream of work for those employed at Pearl Harbor shipyard, his office said.

The Navy said in an internal message in July that it would decommission 12 ships in fiscal 2014, including seven frigates, the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Dallas, a combat support ship, a missile range instrumentation ship, a mine countermeasure ship, and the Denver.

The Denver is expected to be retained for potential future Navy use.

The 569-foot ship, commissioned in 1968, served in the Vietnam War and was a control ship for other amphibious ships in Operation Desert Storm.

The Navy said the Denver is the second oldest deployable ship in the Navy behind the USS Constitution, and is referred to as the "oldest gator in the swamp" for its amphibious role supporting Marine expeditionary forces. 

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