SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The guided-missile frigate USS Gary will return home to San Diego Friday following a nearly seven-month deployment to Central America, the Navy reported Monday.

The voyage is the final one for the Gary, which will be decommissioned. The Navy is phasing out frigates in favor of the new littoral combat ships -- vessels designed for fighting in coastal waters.

The crew members of the Gary, along with a detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49 and a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team, have been conducting anti-drug trafficking missions.

"This has been a very successful deployment in many regards, a deployment I would refer to as a strong finish for the last remaining West Coast frigate in the fleet," said Cmdr. Steven McDowell, Gary's commanding officer. "When we departed for this deployment our intent was to make a difference and we did."

The Gary intercepted 13,921 kilograms of cocaine, with a wholesale value of $278.4 million, along with 18 pounds of marijuana, valued at $17,100, according to the Navy.

The ship named for Donald Arthur Gary, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for helping to rescue hundreds of sailors trapped below decks when the aircraft carrier USS Franklin was badly damaged after being bombed off the coast of Japan in March 1945, will be prepared for decommissioning after it returns.

The Navy said the deployment was also the final one for the SH-60B Seahawk type of helicopter.