Thursday, September 2, 2010

USS McInerney has been turned over to the Pakistani navy

Shortly before the sun set Tuesday, the USS McInerney was no more.Within a few minutes, the PNS Alamgir floated in its place.Dozens of feet above the water at Mayport Naval Station, a Pakistani sailor was already hard at work with a long brush and bucket of gray paint. He was covering up a large numeral "8" on the ship's bow, a U.S. designation, as the new crew made the ship its own."It tugs at your heartstrings," Cmdr. Paul Young, the final commanding officer of the McInereny said, minutes after turning over the vessel to Capt. Naveed Ashraf.In recent months, Young led the ship on a successful final deployment and then spent months working with the Pakistani crew members, bringing them up to speed as they prepared to take over the ship.

The Pakistani navy is interested in seven of the U.S. frigates, although Congress has not yet approved any more of the transfers.The dozen frigates remaining at Mayport are slated to be decommissioned by 2015, when the USS Samuel B. Roberts is retired.Having the vessels as part of the Pakistani fleet, Haqqani said, is good for both countries.


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