The decommissioned aircraft carrier Forrestal (AVT 59) is scheduled to begin its final voyage, Feb. 4, weather permitting, when it will depart Philadelphia on its way to a ship dismantling and recycling facility in Brownsville, Texas.
The ship will be towed down the Delaware River, along the eastern seaboard, and across the Gulf of Mexico to arrive at the All Star Metals facility. The best opportunit y for viewing the departure will be from publicly accessible areas along the Delaware River.
The Navy awarded a ship dismantling contract to All Star Metals of Brownsville on Oct. 22, 2013, and All Star Metals subcontracted with Foss Marine Towing to tow the ship to its final destination.
The first of the "supercarriers," Forrestal was launched Dec. 11, 1954, by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., and commissioned Sept. 29, 1955.
Forrestal was decommissioned Sept. 11, 1993, after more than 38 years of service. On June 16, 1999, the Navy announced the ship would be available for donation to an eligible organization for use as a museum or memorial. However, no viable applications were received and the vessel was removed from donation hold in December 2003 and redesignated for disposal.
In October, the Navy competitively awarded a contract to All Star Metals for the towing, dismantling and recycling of conventionally powered aircraft carriers. Under the terms of the contract, the company will be paid $0.01 for dismantling and recycling ex-USS Forrestal, which is the lowest price the Navy could possibly have paid the contractor for the work.
The Navy continues to own the ship during the dismantling process until the ship has been fully dismantled. The contractor takes ownership of the scrap metal as it is produced and sells the scrap to offset its costs of operations.
Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships is responsible for delivering and sus taining the fleet's littoral mission capabilities. Consistent delivery of high-quality warfighting assets, while balancing affordability and capability, is key to supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy.