San Diego-based frigate USS Gary prepares for final deployment

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USS Gary deploys for last mission.

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based guided-missile frigate is scheduled to leave Wednesday for a final deployment before its scheduled decommissioning, the Navy announced Monday.

The 30-year-old USS Gary will sail to the waters off Central and South America for anti-drug trafficking missions.

A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment and units from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron 49 will join the Gary and its 240 sailors for the final deployment.

The Navy is phasing out frigates in favor of the new littoral combat ships, which are fast, maneuverable vessels designed for fighting in coastal areas.

The Gary is named after 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 bombed off the coast of Japan in March 1945.

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