The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Sampson, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony in Boston, Mass.
Vice Adm. William D. Sullivan, U.S. Military representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Sampson’s great granddaughter Clara Parsons will serve as sponsor of the ship. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Designated DDG 102, the new destroyer honors the service of William Thomas Sampson (1840-1902), who graduated first in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1861 and went on to become a naval hero in the Spanish-American War. Sampson retired as commandant of the Boston Navy Yard in 1902.
Three previous destroyers have been named to honor Sampson: the first was designated DD 63, served from 1916-1921; the second designed DD 394, served from 1938-1945; and the third a guided missile destroyer designed DDG 10, served 1961-1991. All three previous destroyers were also commissioned in Boston.
Sampson is the 52nd 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. Sampson will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously.
Cmdr. Philip Roos, born in Leiderdorp, The Netherlands, will become the first commanding officer of the ship and will lead a crew of approximately 275 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Sampson was built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet and a navigational draft of 32 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots. Sampson will be homeported in San Diego. For more information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers, visit http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4