SAN DIEGO - The frigate USS Curts is scheduled to return to San Diego on Tuesday from its last deployment before being decommissioned, the Navy announced Monday.
The 30-year-old Curts and its crew of 252 worked to disrupt organized crime in areas under the U.S. Southern Command's watch, which covers the Caribbean and southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, according to the Navy.
Sailors arrested three suspected drug traffickers in Operation Martillo and kept 2,200 pounds of illegal narcotics -- with an estimated street value of $25 million -- from entering the country. Martillo is Spanish for "hammer."
"It has been a great honor to participate in Operation Martillo, which is important to not only regional security and stability, but to the safety and security of our own local communities," said Cmdr. Fermin Espinoza, the ship's commanding officer.
"The last crew of '38 Special' stepped up to the plate in all assigned missions with tenacity and confidence and hit a home run," Espinoza said.
The vessel, which is scheduled to be decommissioned Jan. 25, is designated as FFG 38, hence the '38 Special' nickname.
The frigate is named after Adm. Maurice E. Curts, who became a hero as a cruiser commander when the U.S. returned to the Philippines in World War II and rose to become commander of the Pacific fleet.