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Hayler Set to Decommission

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS030819-08

Release Date: 8/19/2003 12:35:00 PM

From Naval Surface Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Norfolk-based Spruance-class destroyer USS Hayler (DD 997) will be decommissioned during a ceremony, 10 a.m., Aug. 25, at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va.

Guest speaker will be a former commanding officer of Hayler, Capt. Alan Hicks (recently selected as rear admiral).

Under the command of Cmdr. Mark Hellstern, Hayler deployed April 4, as part of the U.S Naval Forces, Southern Command for counter-drug detection and monitoring operations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. While deployed, Hayler disrupted the transfer of 600 kg of cocaine after a high-speed chase with a suspect vessel. In mid-May, Hayler rescued 75 passengers of a distressed vessel and transferred them to safety.

After visiting ports such as Ecuador, Panama and Mexico, Hayler returned to her final homecoming June 6.

Prior to its Southern Command assignment, Hayler's most recent deployment was with the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Carrier Strike Group in April 2002, playing an active role supporting military efforts in Operation Enduring Freedom. During the deployment, it was the first Navy warship to perform Maritime Interdiction Operations in the Mediterranean in more than 20 years.

Hayler was built in Pascagoula, Miss., at Ingalls Shipbuilding Incorporated, and was commissioned March 5, 1983.

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