USS Reuben James to be decomissionedUPDATED 8:36 PM HST Jul 18, 2013Video Transcript
It served during the Gulf War and embarked on numerous dangerous missions- now the last frigate warship in Hawaii will be taken out of service. KITV 4's Cam Tran was at the bittersweet decommission ceremony. The sound of taps echoes throughout Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, as crew members of the USS Reuben James lowered the American flag-marking an end of an era. DECOMMISSION OFFICER DANIEL VALASCO, COMMANDER, UNTIED STATES NAVY IN: 47:32 IT'S A GREAT FEELING BUT ALSO SAD A sad day as the last sailors to deploy on the uss reuben james disembark one last time. this warship commissioned in 1986 was the first guided missile frigate at pearl harbor. The navy is phasing out all frigates so today's decommission ceremony means the Reuben James will also be Hawaii's last. VALASCO IN:49:22 I AM VERY HONORED TO HAVE THE VERY LAST COMMAND OF THIS SHIP. IT'S ALMOST HUMBLING BEYOND WORDS. IT'S KIND OF SAD, BUT AT THE SAME TIME I'M PROUD TO BE HERE. During its 27 year history, the frigate escorted supplies across the world and was one of the first warships to sail to Shanghai China in modern day history.Joe Baolpe was the ship's first executive officer and helped get it ready for the open ocean. He says saying farewell to this warship was difficult and bittersweet. JOE BOLPE, FORMER USS REUBEN JAMES OFFICER IN:25:15: IT WAS A OUR BABY WE TREATED LIKE OR BABY IN: 25:36 ALL MY SHIPS ARE SPECIAL BUT WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW ONE IT'S REALLY SPECIAL. For these sailors its more than the history but the memories made of this ship. DREW PICKENS, CHIEF PETTY OFFICER 20:51 I MADE CHIEF ON BOARD THIS SHIP SO A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MY CAREER WAS ON BOARD THIS SHIP SO ITS SAD TO SEE IT GO 21:02 Standup: in: 28:24 On august first the uss reuben james will be deemed in active. It will move to west lock where it will stay in Hawaii until it is needed. Repoting from jbph, ct kitv 4 news. The USS Reuben James was named after a sailor who stepped in harms way to save his capitan during a pirate attack in the 1800's.