O'Bannon was laid down on 21 February 1977 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.; launched on 25 September 1978; and commissioned on 15 December 1979, Commander Marshall R. Willenbucher in command.
Originally assigned to Naval Base Charleston, South Carolina; when it was closed by the Congressional BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) committee in 1994 transferred to Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
UNITAS XXXII: Cartagena, Columbia; Rodmin, Panama; Manta, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; Valparaíso, Chile; Talcahuano, Chile; Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Puerta la Cruz, Venezuela
MEF 3-97 (started 15 July 1997) Lajes, Azores (24JUL97), Palma, Spain (28-30JUL97), Rota, Spain, Kos, Greece (3-5AUG97), Dubai United Arab Emirates (5-7SEP97), ASU Bahrain (18-23SEP, 10-14OCT, 21-22OCT97), Muscat,Oman 30OCT-01NOV97), Dubai, UAE 3-8NOV97), Media, Portugal.