The Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) returned to Naval Base San Diego on Monday, concluding its final deployment prior to decommissioning.
Curts performed a variety of tasks during its "Combating Transnational Organized Crime" deployment as part of Operation Martillo in the 4th Fleet area of responsibility. Operations included interdiction operations resulting in the apprehension of three alleged drug-traffickers. It also seized or disrupted nearly 1,000 kilograms of illicit narcotics with an estimated street value of $25 million.
"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, Curts' commanding officer. "The last crew of the '38 Special' stepped up to the plate in all assigned missions with tenacity and confidence and hit a home run."
Operation Martillo (Spanish for "hammer") is a 14-nation effort to deny transnational criminal organizations the use of coastal waters in Central America to transport cocaine and other illicit cargo to North America.
Curts is scheduled to conduct a decommissioning ceremony on Jan. 25, 2013 at Naval Base San Diego.
Curts helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile AOR in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.