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EVERETT, Wash. - Guided-missile frigate USS Ford (FFG 54) will conclude 28 years of service to the U.S. Navy during a decommissioning ceremony Oct. 31 at Naval Station Everett.
Among those expected to attend are 126 former crew members and their families, including including 14 "plank-owners" (crew members who were assigned to the ship when it was commissioned) and seven former commanding officers. The guest speaker will be retired Capt. David F. Matawitz, commanding officer of Ford from 2001 to 2003.
The ship and her crew will also be joined by 13 members of ship's namesake Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Patrick Ford's family.
Ford is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 9. In Nov. 2011, she returned from her last deployment to the Western Pacific where she supported theater security cooperation efforts, including participation in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series.
Over the past two-and-a-half months, Ford Sailors worked hard to remove gear and equipment, securing and placing systems into long-term layup, and prepping the ship to be towed to Bremerton, Wash., to join the Inactive Ship Facility.
Ford was commissioned June 29, 1985. The ship is named after Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Patrick O. Ford, for his heroics during the Vietnam War. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his fearless devotion to duty, which saved the lives of two of his shipmates.
The ship will be transferred to the inactive reserves Nov. 6.