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HEADLINE: USS Simon Lake Sails to Decommissioning By JOC Jon McMillan NAVAL STATION ROTA, SPAIN - USS Simon Lake (AS 33) departed Naval Station Rota, Spain, for the last time in its history recently. The 35-year-old submarine tender is on its final voyage to the United States and will be decommissioned there upon arrival. Former Simon Lake crew members, the David Glasgow Farragut (DGF) High School Music Club and the Naval Station, Rota, commanding officer and command master chief were on hand to see the ship off. The ship's commanding officer, CAPT David Duffie, presented Rota's base commander, CAPT G. K. Stair, a print of Simon Lake berthed at the Naval Station port and thanked Rota for its support to Simon Lake over the years. Duffie also thanked members of the DGF Music Club for participating in the ship's final farewell to Europe. Mr. Mark Bignell, the DGF Music Club director said the kids "felt they had done something special." He also said the parents were "excited to see their kids participating in an event like this." Where the event was exciting for most of DGF Music Club, it was moving for others who were there to say goodbye. "This was the first time I've ever seen it get underway," said Lt. Cmdr. Lou Jorfi, a Rota Sailor who completed two tours, 20 years apart, on Simon Lake. Jorfi said he has served eight tours on ships and submarines, but the two tours he spent with the Simon Lake were special. "I essentially made E4 and O4 on the Simon Lake, he explained. I also have two (battle) Es and two MUCs (Meritorious Unit Commendation Awards) and they come from that ship. That ship was kind like home [for me]." Simon Lake was forward deployed to Europe for more than half of its 35 years of service. The ship was homeported in Rota from 1972 to 1977 and has been homeported in Holy Loch, Scotland and La Maddalena, Italy. -USN-