USS Gary (FFG-51)

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USS Gary (FFG-51) leaves Pearl Harbor in July 2014
USS Gary (FFG-51), leaves Pearl Harbor in July 2014.
United States
NamesakeCommander Donald A. Gary
Awarded22 May 1981
BuilderTodd Pacific Shipyards, Los Angeles Division, San Pedro, California
Laid down18 December 1982
Launched19 November 1983
Commissioned17 November 1984
Decommissioned5 August 2015
HomeportNaval Base San Diego
Motto"Freedom's Foremost Guardian"
Nickname(s)"Two Guns"
FateSold to Taiwan
  • Feng Jia
  • (逢甲)
Acquired13 March 2017
Commissioned8 November 2018
IdentificationPennant number: PFG-1115
Statusin active service
General characteristics
Class and typeOliver Hazard Perry-class frigate
Displacement4,100 long tons (4,200 t), full load
Length453 feet (138 m), overall
Beam45 feet (14 m)
Draft22 feet (6.7 m)
Speedover 29 knots (54 km/h)
Range5,000 nautical miles at 18 knots (9,300 km at 33 km/h)
Complement15 officers and 190 enlisted, plus SH-60 LAMPS detachment of roughly six officer pilots and 15 enlisted maintainers
Sensors and
processing systems
Electronic warfare
& decoys
Aircraft carried2 × SH-60 LAMPS III helicopters
Aviation facilities

USS Gary (FFG-51) was an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate in the United States Navy. She was named for Medal of Honor recipient Commander Donald A. Gary (1903–1977).

Gary was laid down on 18 December 1982 at Todd Pacific Shipyards, Los Angeles Division, San Pedro, California; launched on 19 November 1983, co-sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy G. Gary, widow of the late Cmdr. Gary, and Mrs. Joyce Leamer, the late Medal of Honor recipient's niece;[1] and commissioned on 17 November 1984 at Naval Station Long Beach.[2] The Gary was decommissioned from the US Navy on 5 August 2015 with the Taiwanese crew taking possession on 13 March 2017, and arrived at the ROCN Zyoying Naval Base on 13 May. She was formally commissioned into ROCN as the ROCS Feng Jia (PFG-1115) on 8 November 2018.


Gary is the forty-fifth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided missile frigates. These ships were built to provide air, surface and sub-surface protection for underway replenishment groups, convoys, amphibious groups and other military and merchant shipping. While a capable surface combatant in these traditional warfare areas, Gary's role has expanded from that of the early 1980s to meet the threats and contingencies of the 21st century. Being the smallest multi-mission surface combatant in the U.S. Navy, Gary's shallow draft gives her an advantage over larger cruisers and destroyers in the littoral operations that have characterized recent conflicts.

Gary's engineering plant is computer-controlled and monitored, reducing the number of watchstanders required in the engineering spaces themselves. Two marine gas turbine engines provide propulsion. Digital electronic logic circuits and remotely operated valves are monitored in a central control station and make Gary capable of getting ready to get underway in less than ten minutes rather than the eight hours required by steam-powered ships.

One of the U.S. Navy's premiere anti-submarine warfare platforms, Gary routinely deploys for bilateral anti-submarine exercises and real-world contingency operations in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, she displayed her versatility, deploying to the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, conducting carrier escort and air defense, intelligence gathering and presence missions, terrorist interdiction operations, rescue at sea and escorted dozens of merchant and military supply ships through the Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb strait. From 1999 to 2007, Gary was forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the United States Seventh Fleet. During 2007, Gary completed a hull-swap/crew-swap with McCampbell (DDG-85) and to be home-ported at Naval Station, San Diego.

Notable history[edit]

Gary in 2002, before removal of her missile launcher.

An Iranian mine damaged guided missile frigate Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf on 14 April 1988. On 18 April the U.S. launched retaliatory Operation Praying Mantis against the Iranian-occupied Rakhsh, Salman (Sassan), and Sīrrī-D (Nassr) oil platforms. As the Task Unit Commander of joint forces in the Northern Persian Gulf, Gary coordinated her efforts with naval, Air Force and Army aircraft as well as special operations boat units while protecting Mobile Sea Bases Hercules and Wimbrown VII during the fighting.[1] She even claimed to have shot down a Silkworm missile, but this was never officially credited nor was she officially commended for her actions due to political reasons at that time.[3]

While aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, guided missile destroyer Curtis Wilbur, and Gary, with an embarked an SH-60B Seahawk of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) (HSL) 51 Detachment 5, passed through the Strait of Malacca, en route to the Indian Ocean, on 7 October 2001, they rescued five Indonesian fishermen from their sinking 40-foot fishing vessel.[1]

On 13 March 2003, Gary, with an SH-60B of HSL-51 embarked, assisted in the rescue of all eight Iraqi fishermen from dhow Kaptain Muhamadat when she lost steerage and propulsion in heavy seas and capsized 20 miles south of the Iranian coast.[1]

On 9 February 2007 Gary docked at the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville. It is the first time since the Vietnam War that an American warship has docked in Cambodia.

In the summers of 2012 and 2014, Gary took part in the largest Rim of the Pacific multi-national naval exercise including 23 nations and over 40 ships.

While Gary, with a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment team embarked, deployed for Operation Martillo (Spanish for "Hammer"), a counter-narcotics patrol, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, she intercepted a suspicious vessel on 4 January 2013. The Coast Guardsmen and Sailors from the ship's "visit, board, search, and seizure" (VBSS) team boarded the suspected smuggler and seized 600 pounds (270 kg) of cocaine with an estimated street value of $22 million. "This was one of those vessels we were chasing in the dark," Leatrice Daniels, Gary's embarked Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent explained, "There was great open communication with everybody involved. Everything just flowed, from pursuit to initial contact and boarding." The investigators deemed the smuggler a hazard to navigation and sank her. This case concluded a hectic week in which Gary's crewmembers and Coast Guardsmen boarded three boats, disrupting more than 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of cocaine destined for the United States with a street value of $272 million.[1]

On the night of 8 January 2013, Gary encountered a small vessel loaded with cargo. The boat displayed several indicators that she was involved in illicit trafficking, and the VBSS team and the Coast Guardsmen boarded the vessel. While they searched the boat, she suffered a temporary steering casualty, rendering her dangerous to operate. Gary rigged a tow until the Americans and the mariners restored the boat's steering. The intervening time enabled the boarders to complete their search and they failed to discover any narcotics on board, and the vessel resumed her voyage two days later.[1]

Feng Jia underway, date unknown

The ship capped her deployment by seizing an additional vessel smuggling more than 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) of cocaine valued at $81 million. "It was a complex operation," Lt. (j.g.) Christian Gotcher, the ship's navigation officer, recalled, "involving a law enforcement boarding, boat and helicopter searches, precision driving, detainee handling, and multiple deck operations, but Gary's crew proved they were fully capable of handling it and scored a big win."[1]

Gary was decommissioned on 23 July 2015 at Naval Base San Diego, California.[1][4]

The ship was inactivated on 5 August 2015 and then prepared for transfer to Taiwan.[5] The Republic of China Navy inaugurated the ship as the ROCS Feng Jia (PFG-1115) on 8 November 2018.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Evans, Mark L. (28 July 2015). "Gary (FFG-51)". Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  2. ^ Smolinski, Mike (23 June 2008). "USS Gary (FFG51)". Frigate Photo Archive. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  3. ^ "America's First Clash with Iran: The Tanker War" by Lee Allen Zatarain, Chapter 17: "Multiple Silkworms Inbound"
  4. ^ "USS Gary decommissioned at Naval Base San Diego". Fox 5. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  5. ^ Crisp, Thomas (6 August 2014). "Navy decommissioning plan 2015 – farewell to the frigates". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  6. ^ Tu, Aaron; Chin, Jonathan (9 November 2018). "US-purchased warships inaugurated". Taipei Times. Retrieved 9 November 2018.

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here. This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]