FFG 21 Flatley
The fifteenth ship of the OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Class of guided missile frigates, Flatley's mission is to provide in-depth protection for military and merchant shipping, amphibious task forces, and underway replenishment groups. With her speed, maneuverability, and ability to strike at foes under, over, and on the surface of the ocean, she is particularly well suited to this mission.
Honoring the memory of Vice Admiral James H. Flatley, who distinguished himself with extraordinary heroism and conspicuous courage during the Battle of the Coral Sea, FLATLEY was constructed by Bath Iron works in Bath, Maine, and commissioned on 20 June 1981. She joined Destroyer Squadron Eight in July 1981, and commenced the rigorous life of an operational unit of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. After completing three deployments and numerous special operations, Flatley joined the Naval Reserve Force in November of 1987.
FFG 21 took part in Operation Restore Democracy in July 1994 and transported Haitians to Guantanamo Naval Station.
In 1994, the ship spent more time off the coast of Haiti during Operation Support Democracy than any other ship, rescuing more than 1,500 Haitians at sea. Recently, the ship spent time conducting counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean.
She was decommissioned in May 1996. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency in July 2001 reported that the Flatley may be leased or sold to Turkey.
The dark blue and gold on the shield of the coat of arms are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy, and symbolize the sea and excellence. The golden wings represent Vice Admiral James H. Flatley's service as a naval aviator, and the stars allude to his rank. He was awarded the Navy Cross for "extraordinary heroism and conspicuous courage" during the Battle of the Coral Sea, symbolized by the cross pattee. The pile represents a formation of attacking airplanes and the barry wavy, an heraldic symbol for water, represents the Navy's sweep across the Pacific, spearheaded by the aircraft carriers.
The red lion on the crest, adapted from the Flatley Coat of Arms, is a symbol of strength and courage. He carries a scythe in reference to Admiral Flatley's command of a fighter squadron, the "Grim Reapers," aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). The crest also symbolizes the essence and capabilities of a FFG, watchful, yet fully-armed.
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