Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef the morning of January 17 while transiting the Sulu Sea, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island. The Navy determined the ship was "beyond economical repair" - and now salvage crews are in the process of cutting the Guardian into pieces so they can safely remove it from the reef.
The San Diego-based USS Warrior will replace the Guardian. Following the decommissioning ceremony, the Guardian crew will continue their mission in Sasebo, Japan, aboard the USS Warrior.
Vice. Adm. Copeman wrote about how momentous it is for crew members when their ship is decommissioned...
"...stricken from the fleet and returned to cold iron; the crew and former crewmembers left with their memories and reminders of serving our nation and multiple missions on an endless sea.
"It is the shared memories and experiences of these Sailors who served on Guardian which are the legacy of her service."