Saying Goodbye to the .38 Special
The guided-missile frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) was decommissioned today after 29 years of naval service. During the ceremony, the rainy weather at Naval Base San Diego matched the sentiment of attendees as they said goodbye to the ship lovingly nicknamed the “.38 Special” by her first crew.
Among those in attendance were nine former Curts commanding officers, 20 plankowners, and 80 former crewmembers.
Curts was commissioned on Oct. 8, 1983 at Naval Station Long Beach, and named for the late Adm. Maurice Curts.
Curts’ subsequent crews distinguished themselves across the years. In Operation Desert Storm they captured an Iraqi garrison on Qaruh Island, taking 51 Iraqi prisoners. Curts also destroyed mines, sank an Iraqi minelayer and supported combat helicopter operations during the Battle of Bubiyan Island.
After being forward deployed to Japan in the 1990s, Curts made San Diego home and changed missions to the interdiction of illicit drugs and cargo. In 2004, Curts received national notoriety for seizing 12 tons of cocaine in the largest maritime cocaine interdiction in history.
During Curts’ final deployment to the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea, she seized more than $26 million in cocaine and marijuana, detained more than 30 alleged traffickers, and scuttled seven vessels.
While in commission, USS Curts provided deterrence, promoted peace and security, preserved freedom of the seas, and aided in humanitarian/disaster response in the 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Operation, as well as the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea.