The Navy will christen the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Dewey, Saturday, Jan. 26, during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss.
Designated DDG 105, the new destroyer honors Adm. George Dewey (1837-1917) who commanded the Asiatic Station from the cruiser Olympia. Shortly after the onset of the Spanish-American War, Dewey led his squadron of warships into Manila Bay on April 30, 1898. The next morning, his squadron destroyed the Spanish fleet in only two hours without a single American loss. A widely popular hero of his day, Dewey was commissioned admiral of the Navy, a rank created for him, in March 1903. Two previous ships have proudly carried his name. The first was a destroyer (DD 349) that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and went on to receive 13 battle stars for World War II service. The second was a destroyer commissioned as a guided-missile frigate (DLG 14) before being reclassified as a guided-missile destroyer (DDG 45).
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. His wife, Deborah, 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.
Dewey is the 55th of 62 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. The ship will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Dewey 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. This is in keeping with “A Cooperative Strategy of 21st Century Seapower,” the new maritime strategy that postures the sea services to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world
Cmdr. Warren R. Buller, of Concord, Mass., is the prospective commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 292 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Dewey is being built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Pascagoula, Miss.