Russia: Black Sea Fleet Removes ASW Ship Ochakov from Active Service
Black Sea Fleet (BSF) removed large ASW ship Ochakov from active service. The fleet’s ex-commander Admiral Igor Kasatonov hauled down St. Andrew’s flag and handed it over to BSF Museum’s representative, reports RIA Novosti.
Large ASW ship Ochakov was commissioned into Red Banner Black Sea Fleet (USSR) in Nov 1973. The ship had been servicing in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic since 1974 till 1990. In 1991 the ship was laid up for repairs, but financing was shut down soon because of the breakup of the Soviet Union. In 2011 it was decided to write-off the ship and withdraw her from Black Sea Fleet.
A solemn parade was held on the ship’s upper deck on Aug 22. Among attendants were not only active BSF servicemen but about 100 veterans who used to serve on Ochakov.
After flag-hoisting ceremony, the ship decommission order was read off, and then the first commanding officer of Ochakov – BSF ex-commander Admiral Igor Kasatonov – personally hauled down St. Andrew’s flag. In his speech, Kasatonov said he was proud to serve on that ship.
“I’m proud of being the first who led this ship to combat service in the Mediterranean Sea and to be a man who hauled down the ensign on his ship”, said the admiral.
Reportedly, in 2012-2013 Black Sea Fleet would receive six new frigates.
Source: rusnavy, August 24, 2011;