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USS Crommelin Decommissioned Today – Last Stop in Hilo Was During Merrie Monarch

During last years Merrie Monarch, I got invited to tour the Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate warship the USS Crommelin and learned at that time that it would be decommissioned later on this year.

USS Crommelin (FFG-37), twenty-eighth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates.

Well today the US Navy released the following release announcing that it is being decommissioned today.

Sailors line up in front of the USS Crommelin while she was ported in Hilo last year

The US Navy reports:

The Navy is retiring a Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate after putting the ship to use for nearly 30 years.

The Navy is holding a ceremony on Friday to decommission the Crommelin.

In 2004, the Crommelin intercepted and recovered more than 20 tons of cocaine worth more than $1 billion and detained 29 drug smugglers. It also rescued 96 people adrift at sea.

The Crommelin is named after three brothers from Wetumpka, Ala., who served during World War II.

The oldest became a surface warfare officer while two others died in combat as naval aviators. A monument commemorating their bravery rests in Battleship Park in Mobile, Ala.

The Crommelin entered service in 1983.

While the Crommelin was in Hilo for the Merrie Monarch, Mayor Kenoi’s office proclaimed it to be USS Crommelin day and a small celebration was held for the sailors.

One sailor got to pick and choose who he wanted to have dance with the dancers and I could see big smiles on all the sailors faces as he was calling out names.

You have to know that Hawaii is the place that all sailors in the Navy want to be stationed!

Tahitian Dance for the sailors of the USS Crommelin

I’m glad I got my USS Crommelin Coin before the ship was decommissioned as this buggah just became even more important to me!

Merrie Monarch Royal Court Visits the USS Crommelin – Mayor’s Office Proclaims USS Crommelin Day

The US Navy Guided Missile Frigate the USS Crommelin arrived in Hilo the other day for the celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival.

USS Crommelin (FFG-37), twenty-eighth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates sits in the Hilo Harbor.

This morning outside the ship at the Hilo Harbor, Charmaine Shigemura from Mayor Kenoi’s office told the men and “woman” of the USS Crommelin that the County of Hawaii was proclaiming it “USS Crommelin Day”.

Charmaine Shigemura proclaims "USS Crommelin Day"

Earlier in this post I quoted the word “woman” as when I asked one of the sailors how many women were on the ship they said just one.

See... there is at least one female aboard! Can you find Lieutenant Junior Grade Crystal Roberts

When I asked why only one… I was told that they did have six at one point but slowly but surely they move on to other things (just as the men do too).  It was also noted that to retro-fit the USS Crommelin so that more women could be on board the ship at all times would be too costly at this point since the Crommelin is scheduled to be decommissioned in October later this year.

Some of the sailors of the USS Crommelin

Many of the sailors that were in port last night got to attend last nights Merrie Monarch Hoike performances and the sailor that I talked to said it was something he will never forget.  Today, the Merrie Monarch Royal Court was on hand as this basically was a cultural exchange between the people of Hawaii and the members of the US Navy.

2012 Merrie Monarch Royal Court

Gifts were exchanged between Rear Admiral Frank Ponds and the Royal Court.

Rear Admiral Frank Ponds gives a gift to the Merrie Monarch

The sailors were treated to a little Tahitian dance themselves!

Tahitian Dance for the sailors of the USS Crommelin

[youtube=http://youtu.be/KLz08bt2aHk]

Ok… the best part was when some of the sailors got called out to dance with the Tahitian dancers.

One sailor got to pick and choose who he wanted to have dance with the dancers and I could see big smiles on all the sailors faces as he was calling out names.

Ok… this does it for me… this reinforces the fact that some folks just don’t know how to dance!  Can someone please tell me what the white sailor is doing in this video?

[youtube=http://youtu.be/s7aAsVXujCs]

After the entertainment, the members of the Royal Court were invited onto the Crommelin where a couple more small speeches were given.

Merrie Monarch Royalty boards the ship

Then the guests of honor were treated to lunch at the back of the ship which consisted of fruits, vegetables, spring rolls, kalua pig, bacon wrapped prawns and of course cake!

The King and Queen talk story with Admiral Ponds, his wife and his staff before lunch

Out of all the sailors aboard the USS Crommelin I was able to ask around and find the one and only sailor on the ship that was from Hawaii and he’s actually from Waianae on Oahu and he had this to say about his time in the Navy.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/12C9Hm56xeg]

After lunch, tours of the ship were held for the Royal Court, members of their family, the entertainers and the general media.

I wish it wouldn't have been cloudy. This would have made for an interesting picture with Mauna Kea in the background.

I have heard that many of the sailors were going to go visit veterans at Yukio Okutsu Veteran’s State Home later this afternoon while others are going to enjoy their time in Hilo.

Have fun sailors!

The Crommelin is scheduled to depart Hilo on Sunday and return to Pearl Harbor and with it’s pending decommissioning… this will be the last time that the Crommelin is in Hilo.

A cool little Merrie Monarch cake!

I’d like to personally thank Ensign Tyler Sharp for welcoming me aboard the ship and making me feel welcome amongst some of America’s Finest.

Mahalo for your hospitality Ensign Sharp!

USS Crommelin to Visit Hilo for Merrie Monarch Festival

The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG-37) will visit Hilo April 12-15 to participate in the 49th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. Rear Admiral Fernandez “Frank” Ponds, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, will also attend the festivities at the invitation of The Merrie Monarch Festival director.

Sailors man the rails aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG 37) as the ship gets underway for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup/Released)

USS Crommelin will greet the Merrie Monarch Royal Court during a pierside welcome ceremony at Hilo Harbor Pier 1 on Friday, April 13 at 11 a.m.  USS Crommelin Sailors, along with Rear Adm. Ponds, will attend the hula competitions and participate in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 14 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo.  The Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band will also participate in the parade.

USS Crommelin (FFG 37) joins Royal Cambodian Navy patrol craft (PC 1141 and PC 1108) for joint ship maneuvers off southern Cambodia, during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia 2010. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance force readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Robert Clowney/Released)

A select group of Waiakea High School Navy JROTC cadets will have the rare opportunity to embark the ship on its return trip from the Big Island to Pearl Harbor.

Royal Cambodian Navy officers depart USS Crommelin (FFG 37) after opening ceremonies for the second phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia 2010. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance force readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Tross/Released)

USS Crommelin is a 453-foot long Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate with a mission to escort and protect carrier battle groups, amphibious landing groups, underway replenishment groups and convoys.  Commanding officer Cmdr. Michael Johns leads a crew of about 200 Hawaii-based Sailors.

USS Crommelin on the Big Island to Celebrate Merrie Monarch

The guided-missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG 37) makes its way to a new pier location at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Crommelin is scheduled to participate in the Merrie Monarch Festival at Hilo, Hawaii. The weeklong festival is a celebration honoring the legacy of King David Kalakaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, language and arts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Logico/Released)

Media Release:

The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG-37) will visit Hilo April 8-10 to participate in the 47th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. Rear Admiral Dixon Smith, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, will also attend the festivities.

USS Crommelin will greet the Merrie Monarch Royal Court during a pierside welcome ceremony at Hilo Harbor Pier 1 on Friday, April 9 at 11 a.m. USS Crommelin Sailors, along with Rear Adm. Smith, will attend the hula competitions and participate in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 10 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo. The Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band will also participate in the parade.

A select group of Waiakea High School Navy JROTC cadets will have the unique opportunity to embark the ship on its return trip from the Big Island to Pearl Harbor.

USS Crommelin is a 453-foot long Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate with a mission to escort and protect carrier battle groups, amphibious landing groups, underway replenishment groups and convoys. Commanding officer Cmdr. Joseph Keenan leads a crew of about 200.