USS Peleliu to be decommissioned Tuesday - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USS Peleliu to be decommissioned Tuesday

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A decommissioning ceremony took place Tuesday morning at Naval Base San Diego for the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu.

The 820-foot-long vessel, which called San Diego and Long Beach home during its 35 years of service, deployed 17 times and steamed more than 1 million nautical miles, according to the Navy. Its final deployment ended last Christmas Eve when it pulled into San Diego Bay.

Hundreds of former crew members and Marines transported by the ship are scheduled to attend the ceremony, in which the flag will be hauled down before the crew disembarks for the final time. Afterward, the vessel will be towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it will join the Navy's reserve fleet.

The Peleliu, named for a Pacific island where a bloody World War II battle took place, was commissioned May 3, 1980, in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

It's the last of the Navy's five Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships to be in service. The Navy began decommissioning that class of warship in 2005.

This year, the Navy is expected to replace them with America-class amphibious assault ships, which are designed to carry helicopters and other small aircraft that can help transport troops from ship to shore more easily.

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