FFG 56
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The Simpson (FFG 56) is the 46th Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate and is named for the Rear Adm. Rodger W. Simpson (1898-1964), who distinguished himself during World War II as a Destroyer commanding officer and Flotilla Commander. The keel was laid down on February 27, 1984, by the Bath Iron Works, in Bath, Maine. The ship was christened and launched on August 31, 1984, by Mrs. Grace Fowles Simpson Smith, the widow of the ship's namesake. USS Simpson was commissioned on November 9, 1985; Cmdr. H. Wyman Howard, Jr., is the first commanding officer.

On Simpson's first overseas deployment in Jan. 1988, the ship was assigned as an escort to U.S.-flagged merchant vessels in the Arabian Gulf. On April 18, she was a principle unit of Operation Praying Mantis responding to the Iranian mine attack on USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58). Operating in conjunction with two other Navy ships, USS Simpson was responsible for the destruction of an Iranian oil platform and sinking the Iranian Navy missile patrol combatant, Joshan.

USS Simpson departed Naval Station Newport for its third major deployment in December 1991. In the Mediterranean Sea, it rendezvoused with two CIS warships and conducted ship maneuvering exercises, the first such between U.S. and CIS forces. It then proceeded to the Red Sea to participate in the United Nations embargo against Iraq.

In August 1993, the Simpson deployed as part of the USS America (CV 66) Battle Group (BG). She participated in Operations Deny Flight and Provide Promise in the Adriatic Sea and U.N. Operation Continue Hope off the coast of Somalia. After a brief assignment in the Red Sea supporting U.N. sanctions against Iraq, FFG 56 returned to homeport in Feb. 1994.

In April 1994, the Simpson participated in Operations Support Democracy and Able Manner off the coast of Haiti in support of the U.N. embargo against Haiti. After returning to Newport, R.I., for three weeks, she shifted homeports to Norfolk, Virginia, in May. Enroute, the ship was tasked to return to the Caribbean Sea to participate in Operation Restore Democracy, finally arriving in Naval Station Norfolk in June 1994.

Upon completion of post-deployment maintenance, USS Simpson returned to the Caribbean to participate in Counter Drug Operations with the U.S. Coast Guard. She returned to homeport in December 1994 and deployed again to the Caribbean in February 1995, to continue counter-drug operations.

November 8, 1995 USS Simpson departed Norfolk for a scheduled Mediterranean deployment.

The Simpson celebrated the arrival of 1996 while inport Barcelona, Spain, as part of the Standing Naval Forces, Atlantic (SNFL). The guided-missile frigate operated in the Adriatic Sea in support of NATO Operation Sharp Guard, enforcing the U.N. Security Council's arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina. throughout the end of deployment. She also enjoyed port visits in Augusta Bay, Sicily; Valencia and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Trieste, Italy; Corfu, Greece; Naples, Italy; Toulon, France; Genoa, Italy; and Gibraltar, British overseas teritory. FFG 56 arrived in Bermuda on May 5 for a brief stop to embark family members for a Tiger Cruise; Returned to homeport on May 8.

February 26, 1998 USS Simpson departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment as part of Standing Naval Force Mediterranean 98-1.

Conducting a group sail with the USS Caron, USS Laboon (DDG 58), and USNS Santa Barbara, the Simpson arrived at the Strait of Gibraltar in mid-March, ready to rendezvous with USS Underwood (FFG 36) for turnover and inchop to STANAVFORMED.

After participating in exercise Strong Reselvo '98, USS Simpson pulled into Portsmouth, England, for a scheduled port visit. The guided-missile frigate then underway enroute Amsterdam, Netherlands, and after two days of maintenance, departed for Hamburg, Germany. This continuous, fast paced, cycle of underway exercises and inport maintenance continued during Simpson's entire stay with STANAVFORMED including visits to Antwerp, Belgium; Malaga and Cadiz, Spain; Taranto, Italy; Koper, Slovenia; and Rhodes, Greece.

On June 16, with less than twenty four hours notice, the Simpson was tasked to go to the Adriatic Sea to assume duties as Undersea and Surface Warfare Commander for the USS Wasp (LHD 1) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).

July 2, USS Simpson returned to Naval Station Norfolk after more than a four-month underway period in the 6th Fleet AoR.

September 4, Cmdr. Gerald F. DeConto relieved Cmdr. Roland J. Mulligan as CO of USS Simpson.

August 2, 2001 Cmdr. Rodney A. Clark relieved Cmdr. Randall G. Bowdish as the 10th CO of Simpson.

May 30, 2003 Cmdr. Ricky L. Williamson relieved Cmdr. Rodney A. Clark as commanding officer of the FFG 56.

April 28, 2004 USS Simpson pulled into Port Everglades, Fla., to participate in Broward County Navy Days Ft. Lauderdale.

September 22, USS Simpson departed Naval Station Mayport for a western Atlantic deployment as part of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces Atlantic (SNFL).

December 20, FFG 56 returned to homeport after a three-month underway period. The ship participated in numerous exercises with NATO and U.S. naval forces, and made 10 port calls in the United States, Canada and Bermuda.

January 27, 2005 Cmdr. John M. Uhl relieved Cmdr. Ricky L. Williamson as CO of the Simpson.

May 18, 2006 USS Simson departed Mayport to participate in a two-week multinational exercise Phoenix Express, in the Mediterranean Sea.

July 14, Cmdr. Luis A. Maldonado relieved Cmdr. John M. Uhl as CO of the USS Simpson.

April 20, 2007 The Simpson moored at HMNB Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, for a brief port call before participating in at-sea phase of exercise Neptune Warrior.

July 27, FFG 56 is currently participating in Operation Bold Step as part of HMS Illustrious CSG. More than 15,000 service members from three countries and 23 U.S. Navy ships will participate in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 07-2 "OBS", off the coast of Virginia to Florida, from July 26-31.

March 26, 2008 Cmdr. Edwin D. Kaiser relieved Cmdr. Luis A. Maldonado as CO of the Simpson during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at the Port of Oranjestad, Netherlands Antilles.

April 5, USS Simson, with embarked Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 Det. 7, returned to Naval Station Mayport after a six-month counter-narco terrorism deployment in the U.S. 4th Fleet AoR. The ship seized approximately 16 metric tons of cocaine and made port calls to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Cartagena, Colombia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Balboa, Panama; and Oranjestad, Aruba.

July 2, USS Simson recently pulled into Castries, St. Lucia, for a six-day port visit.

April 9, 2009 FFG 56 arrived in Cartagena, Colombia, in support of the theater security cooperation (TSC) mission. The Simpson recently departed homeport in support of counter-drug operations.

June 2, USS Simpson provided assistance to Ecuadorian-flagged fishing vessel "Maley", in the eastern Pacific Ocean, that had been stranded at sea for 18 days, five days without food, and one day without water.

July 8, The guided-missile destroyer moored at Vasco Nunez de Balboa Naval Base in Panama for an 11-day mid-deployment upkeep.

October 5, USS Simpson returned to Naval Station Mayport after a six-month Counter-Illicit Trafficking (CIT) deployment in the U.S. 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR). The ship visited several ports including Salaverry, Peru; Lima, Peru; and Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.

October 19, Cmdr. Jason R. Haen relieved Cmdr. Edwin D. Kaiser as the 15th commanding officer of Simpson.

May 30, 2010 FFG 56 arrived in Portsmouth, England, for a brief port call.

June 2, USS Simpson, along with USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29), arrived in Kiel, Germany, to participate in annual Kiel Week celebrations.

June 7, The Simpson departed Gdynia, Poland, after a three-day port call to participate in at-sea phase of exercise BALTOPS 2010.

May 6, 2011 Cmdr. Leonard H. Milliken relieved Cmdr. Jason R. Haen as CO of the USS Simpson during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at Mayport.

January 17, 2012 USS Simpson departed Mayport for a scheduled deployment in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West. The ship embarked two MQ-8B Fire Scouts, from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 60 Det. 4, for third at-sea deployment, of this Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), aboard a guided-missile frigate.

February 2, The Simpson departed Casablanca, Morocco, after a three-day port visit. The ship recently made a brief stop at Funchal, Madeira Island, to take on fuel and supplies.

February 7, FFG 56 pulled into Dakar, Senegal, for a routine port call to pick up fuel and supplies.

February 14, USS Simpson arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, for the first APS West visit.

February 18, The Simpson arrived in Tema, Ghana, for a three-day port visit.

February 26, USS Simpson pulled again into Lagos for a brief port call before participating in a multinational maritime exercise Obangame Express 2012, in the Gulf of Guinea, Feb. 27- 29.

March 10, The guided-missile frigate departed Dakar, Senegal, after a brief port call for fuel and supplies.

March 19, FFG 56 pulled again into Dakar for a routine port visit.

March 30, An MQ-8B was unable to achieve UAS Common Automated Recovery System (UCARS) lock on, a requirement for landing aboard a ship at sea, after returning from a maritime surveillance mission in support of APS. After multiple approaches and exhaustive troubleshooting by operators, the aircraft was positioned a safe distance from the Simpson and the flight was terminated. Subsequently, the crew performed a nighttime recovery of the aircraft.

April 10, USS Simpson arrived in Praia, Cape Verde, for a five-day port visit as part of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) West.

April 19, The Simpson anchored again off the coast of Praia after conducting African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) operations.

April 22, The guided-missile frigate arrived in Dakar for a three-day port call before participating in a multinational exercise Saharan Express 2012, off the coast of Senegal, Cape Verde and Mauritania.

May 8, FFG 56 pulled into Souda Bay, Greece, for the in-port phase of a multi-national maritime exercise Phoenix Express 2012.

June 16, USS Simpson departed Dakar, Senegal, after a routine port call. The ship recently visited Augusta Bay and Naples, Italy.

July 17, USS Simpson returned to homeport after a six-month deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR). The last port call was to Mindelo, Cape Verde.

In September, the Simpson commenced a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) while pierside at Naval Station Mayport.

November 16, Cmdr. Christopher G. Follin relieved Cmdr. Leonard H. Milliken as CO of the FFG 56.

September 18, 2013 USS Simpson, with embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46 Det. 8 and four MQ-8B Fire Scouts, departed Naval Station Mayport for a scheduled Mediterranean deployment in support of AFRICOM Counter Terrorism, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions.

November 27, The guided-missile frigate recently pulled into Bari, Italy, for a scheduled port visit.??

December 26, USS Simpson departed Piraeus, Greece, after a liberty port visit to Athens.

January 23, 2014 The Simpson moored at Pinto Wharf in Grand Harbour for a four-day port visit to Valletta, Malta.

February 15, FFG 56 arrived in Naval Support Activity Souda Bay at Crete, Greece, for a nine-day port call.

February 25, USS Simpson moored outboard the USS Elrod (FFG 55) in Augusta Bay, Sicily, for a brief stop to conduct turnover.

February 28, The Simpson moored at Dique de la Curra Pier in Port of Cartagena, Spain, for a three-day port call.

March 6, The guided-missile frigate moored at Citrus Terminal in Port of Casablanca, Morroco, for a three-day port call after participated in a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the RMNS Hassan II (F 612); Brief stop at Funchal, Portugal, to refuel on March 11.

March 19, The Simpson moored at Union Pier Terminal in downtown Charleston, S.C., for a brief stop to embark friends and family members for a Tiger Cruise.

March 20, USS Simpson returned to Mayport after a six-month deployment.

April 4, Cmdr. Kenneth Anderson relieved Cmdr. Christopher G. Follin as the 18th commanding officer of Simpson.

September 3, FFG 56 departed Naval Station Mayport for Independent Deployer Certification Exercise (IDCERTEX) and in support of the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) ARG's MEUEX.

November 14, USS Simpson, with embarked four MQ-8B Fire Scouts, departed homeport for its 14th and final deployment.

November 24, The Simpson participated in a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the Moroccan navy frigate Sultan Moulay Ismail (FF 614), while underway in the western Mediterranean Sea.

December 2, USS Simpson recently moored at Fuel Pier in Augusta Bay, Sicily, for a brief port call to conduct turnover with the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).?

January 28, 2015 The guided-missile frigate moored at Cruise Jetty in Port Louis, Mauritius, for a week-long port visit to participate in a multinational exercise Cutlass Express 2015.

May 27, USS Simpson moored at Liquid Cargoes Terminal in Port of Koper, Slovenia, for a four-day liberty visit.

June 14, USS Simpson returned to Naval Station Mayport after a seven-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR) in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO).

July 17, Lt. Cmdr. Casey T. Roskelly relieved Cmdr. Kenneth Anderson as the last CO of Simpson during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at Mayport.

September 29, The last Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate held a decommissioning ceremony, after a 30 years of active servise, at Echo 3 Wharf, Naval Station Mayport.

September 30, USS Simpson (FFG 56) was officially decommissioned and stricken from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register.

October 14, The ex-Simpson departed Mayport under tow en route to Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Office Philadelphia, Pa. The ship will be offered for foreign military sale.