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Photos: The USS Elrod returns home from her final deployment

Norfolk, Va. – The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Elrod returned to Norfolk Naval Station today at the end of her final scheduled deployment before decommissioning.

The Elrod deployed to the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet area of operations in late January. While on deployment she conducted port visits to Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia in support of enhancing maritime partnerships.

“It was gratifying to work with our African partners and continue to build relationships that benefit all of our navies,” said Cmdr. Brad L. Stallings, Elrod’s commanding officer.

While patrolling the Mediterranean Sea, the Elrod assisted the USS Bataan in the rescue of 282 migrants on several boats in distress.

Norfolk-based USS Bataan and USS Elrod rescue 282 people in the Mediterranean

“It was a really interesting and cool thing to be a part of,” said Seaman Ulysses Valencia, speaking of the rescue.

Fifty three Sailors earned their Enlisted Surface Warfare qualification, six Sailors reenlisted, and 25 advanced in rate during this deployment.

Elrod was commissioned in 1985 and named after U.S. Marine Corps aviator, Maj. Henry T. Elrod, the first aviator to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II, which was awarded posthumously for his heroism in the defense of Wake Island on Dec. 11, 1941.

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