The guided missile destroyer Gonzalez (DDG 66) will be christened at 2 p.m. on
Saturday, February 18, 1995, at Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine.
The ship is named in honor of Sgt. Alfredo Gonzalez, U.S. Marine Corps, who was
awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for conspicuous courage and dynamic
leadership of his unit during the Vietnam War.
Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine will be the ceremony's principal speaker.
The ship's sponsor is Dolia Gonzalez, mother of the late Sgt. Gonzalez. In the
age old Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne across the bow and
formally name the ship.
Gonzalez is the 16th of 32 Arleigh Burke Class ships authorized by Congress to
be built. These multi-missioned ships are equipped with the Navy's modern
Aegis combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and
weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility. These new
destroyers will replace older, less capable ships that are being taken out of
service as the Navy reduces spending while maintaining quality as part of its
overall plan to modernize the fleet. These versatile ships are designed to
operate independently or in support of aircraft carrier and amphibious
Gonzalez is equipped to carry Standard surface-to-air missiles and Tomahawk
cruise missiles launched from forward and aft vertical launching systems; two
fully automated, radar controlled Phalanx close-in weapon systems; Harpoon
anti-ship missiles; one five-inch gun and electronic warfare systems. The ship
is 505 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 66 feet and displaces
approximately 8,422 tons fully loaded. The ship will have a crew of 26
officers, 24 chief petty officers, and 291 sailors.