USS Crommelin has impressive history

Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

During the decommissioning ceremony for the USS Crommelin (FFG 37), the ship’s first commanding officer, Capt. James Orvis (Navy ret.), told the audience, “The Crommelin has always been a good ship, a ship people could rely on.”

This has proven true throughout Crommelin’s 29 years of service, taking the ship from the Persian Gulf to Latin America to Southeast Asia.

Crommelin was initially home-ported in Long Beach, Calif. and went on its first deployment in September 1985, traveling with the Constellation (CV 64) carrier group to the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

By August 1987, Crommelin was in the Middle East as part of Operation Earnest Will, protecting Kuwaiti oil tankers from Iranian attacks during the Iran-Iraq War. For her service, Crommelin earned both a Meritorious Unit Commendation and an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

In October 1990 Crommelin deployed to the Central, South American and Caribbean theater to provide support for counter narcotics operations, earning the ship a Joint Services Meritorious Unit Award.

Crommelin shifted homeports to Pearl Harbor in September 1991. From November 1992 to March 1993, the ship completed another counter narcotics deployment in the Central, South American and Caribbean theater.

The year 1996 again found Crommelin in the Middle East as part of the Carl Vinson Battle Group. The ship took on a variety of missions, including escorting ships through the Straits of Hormuz, patrolling the northern Persian Gulf and conducting maritime interception operations.

After completing a series of repairs and upgrades, Crommelin departed Pearl Harbor in August 1999 to support counter narcotics operations, this time in the eastern Pacific. During the three-month deployment, Crommelin was a key player in four major cocaine seizures.

Crommelin’s days of drug-busting were far from over. During a six-month deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) in 2003, Crommelin worked with the U.S. Coast Guard in intercepting the fishing vessel San Jose. During the interception, 525 bales of cocaine weighing approximately 10.5 metric tons were recovered.

During its tenure in the SOUTHCOM AOR, Crommelin intercepted and recovered a total 20.5 metric tons of cocaine worth more than $1.25 billion, detained 29 drug smugglers and rescued a total of 96 people adrift at sea.

In May 2006, Crommelin took part in coalition exercises with the navies of Southeast Asian countries, during which it helped trained the United States’ allies in many areas such as search and seizure, navigation, damage control and other maritime activities. The crew took liberty in ports such as Singapore, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Guam, Okinawa, Indonesia and finally returned to homeport Pearl Harbor in September 2006.

Crommelin continued to be active in anti-drug operations, becoming one of the most successful counter narcotics ship in the Navy.

The decommissioning ceremony held on Oct. 26 brought the USS Crommelin’s story to a close.

For more information about the ship’s impressive history, visit

U.S. Navy file photos | Photo illustration

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Category: News