PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57) will depart Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Oct. 3 for an independent seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific. It will be the last deployment from Hawaii for Reuben James, which is scheduled to decommission during the summer of 2013.
"Reuben James has worked very hard to prepare to deploy," said Cmdr. Daniel Valascho, commanding officer of Reuben James. "I'm very proud of the crew.
"Everything we've asked them to do, they have answered the call, and now, they will answer the call of their nation as we sail over the horizon and say farewell to our families and friends," Valascho said. "It is these kinds of great sacrifices that keep our freedom safe. I'm proud of all of them and I know they are excited to participate in the ship's final deployment before decommissioning."
The ship and crew will operate forward to strengthen partnerships and alliances in the Western Pacific and provide maritime security near vital sea lanes.
Reuben James is an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate named after a hero in the Barbary Wars against piracy, who saved the life of LT Stephen Decatur. Boatswain's Mate Reuben James went on to fight in the War of 1812, which commemorates its bicentennial this year. FFG57 is the third ship to proudly hold the name REUBEN JAMES. The first The Oliver Hazard Perry class of frigates is named after the American Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the naval Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
Guided-missile frigates are multi-mission surface combatants, capable of Under-Sea Warfare (USW) and Surface Warfare (SW) missions. Reuben James is assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31 under Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.