The mine countermeasures ships USS Avenger (MCM 1) and USS Defender (MCM 2) were decommissioned this week during separate ceremonies at Naval Base San Diego. Avenger had more than 27 years of naval service; Defender had 25 years in service.
Several of the ships’ plankowners and former crew members attended the ceremonies alongside current crew members. The commanding officers of both ships honored the plankowners that took part in their respective commissioning ceremonies by having them stand and be recognized during the decommissioning ceremonies.
Over the years, Avenger played integral roles during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, and several deployments to the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Avenger was also the first ship to ever locate and destroy a fiberglass-cased influence mine in combat.
Avenger was commissioned on September 12, 1987, and Defender was commissioned on Sept. 30, 1989. Both are now part of the inactive reserve fleet.