The newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Bulkeley (DDG 84), will be christened Saturday, June 24, 2000, during a 10 a.m. (local time) ceremony at Litton's Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
The ship is named in honor of the late Navy Vice Adm. John Duncan Bulkeley, (1911-1996). Bulkeley was the recipient of the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and numerous other decorations for heroic actions during World War II. While in command of Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) Squadrons Three and Seven during the defense of the Philippines, Bulkeley evacuated Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur and President Quezon of the Philippines, and destroyed several Japanese planes, surface combatants, and merchant ships. As commander, MTB Squadron 102, he supported the Normandy and Southern France invasions. Following the war, he became president of the Board of Inspection and Survey, where he continued to serve upon transfer to the retired list on Jan. 1, 1974.
Former Kansas Senator Bob Dole will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Bulkeley's daughters, Regina J. Day, Joan I. Stade, and Diana J. Lindsay; daughter-in-law, Carol A. Bulkeley; and U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Thomas B. Fargo's wife, Sarah, will serve as ship sponsors in the time-honored Navy tradition, when they each break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen Bulkeley.
Bulkeley is the 34th of 58 Arleigh Burke class destroyers currently authorized by Congress, and the 14th of this class to be built by Ingalls Shipbuilding. DDG 51 destroyers are the most capable surface warships ever built. Truly multi-mission combatants, these ships 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.
Equipped with the latest weapons, electronics, helicopter support facilities, and propulsion, auxiliary and survivability systems, DDG 51 destroyers will carry out the Navy's missions well into the century. State-of-the-art command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems provide their ships' crew with complete situational awareness.
DDG 84 is also equipped with the Navy's modern Aegis combat weapons system, the world's foremost naval weapon system. Space-age communications, radar and weapons technologies are combined in a single platform for unlimited mission flexibility. The systems include the AN/SPY-1D phased array radar; the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, which fires a combination of up to 96 Standard surface-to-air, and Tomahawk surface-to-surface missiles; and the AN/SQQ-89 Antisubmarine Warfare System, with a bow mounted AN/SQS-53C sonar.
In addition, Bulkeley has six MK 46 torpedo tubes, as well as two MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems and a multi-mission 5"/62 caliber deck-mounted gun which can be used as an anti-ship weapon, close-in point defense or in support of forces ashore with naval gunfire.
The ship's aircraft handling and support facilities include dual aircraft hangers (port and starboard), a dual Recovery Assist, Securing and Traversing System, and associated machinery systems providing significant enhanced helicopter launch and recovery, command and control and maintenance/repair capabilities. The ship also features the over-the-horizon LAMPS MK III Antisubmarine Warfare Control System, and will be assigned two SH-60B Seahawk Undersea Warfare helicopters.
Navy Cmdr. Carlos Del Toro of New York, N.Y., is the prospective commanding officer of Bulkeley with a crew of approximately 383 officers, chiefs and enlisted personnel. Upon its commissioning in the year 2001, Bulkeley will be homeported in Norfolk, Va., as a member of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. DDG 84 is 509.5 feet in length, and has a waterline beam of 59 feet. Four gas-turbine engines power the 9,200 ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.