Designated hull number DDG 104, the new destroyer honors Andrew Sterett (1778-1807), appointed lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in 1798 and assigned to the USS Constellation as third lieutenant. During the quasi-war with France, he served with Capt. Thomas Truxtun onboard Constellation, capturing the French frigate L’Insurgente in 1799. By 1800, he had risen to the rank of first lieutenant. He was soon given command of the schooner Enterprise. In June 1801, he sailed Enterprise from Baltimore to serve with the Mediterranean Squadron and captured a 14-gun Tripolitan warship and her 80-man crew during the Barbary Wars. Sterett continued his Navy career until he resigned his commission in 1805. Three previous ships have carried his name: DD 27, DD 407 and DLG/CG 31.
Rear Adm. Bernard J. McCullough III, director, warfare integration/senior national representative, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Michelle Sterett Bernson, a familial descendant of the ship’s namesake, will serve as sponsor of the ship. In accordance with Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne across the ship’s bow and christen the ship in the name of Sterett.
Sterett is the 54th of 62 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. This multi mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. Sterett will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
Cdr. Brian P. Eckerle of Jasper, Ind., will become the first commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Sterett is being built by Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company. The ship is 509.5 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 33 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.