TAMPA, Fla.— Port Tampa Bay had a special guest at one of the port’s cruise terminals this week—a U.S. Navy frigate, the USS Simpson, which visited Tampa for a few days to experience some of the activities and sights unique to the Tampa Bay area.
USS Simpson (FFG 56) is an Oliver Hazard Perry Class guided missile frigate, designed as a multi-role open-ocean escort ship for merchant vessel convoys and amphibious task groups. This ship is named for Rear Admiral Rodger Whitten Simpson, who distinguished himself during World War II as a Flotilla Commander. Simpson was built by Bath Iron Works, Maine, and formally commissioned September 21, 1985.
Of note in the ship’s history, in January 1986, Simpson participated in the search and rescue efforts for the Space Shuttle Challenger, receiving the U.S. Coast Guard Unit Commendation with Operational “O.” Simpson’s last deployment was to Sixth Fleet from September 2013 to March 2014, as the sole sea-based unmanned aerial vehicle asset in the Central Mediterranean. She is currently homeported in Mayport, Fla., and is part of Destroyer Squadron Fourteen.
“We are happy to have hosted this noble Naval ship at our port this week, and it’s terrific that the crew was able to enjoy some of the sights and activities we have here in Tampa, as well as our beautiful weather this week,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said. “We certainly hope to welcome them back for future visits.”
About Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. The port was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll. For more information, visit www.portTB.com.