The U.S. Navy will commission its newest guided missile destroyer, Russell
(DDG 59) at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 20, 1995, at Naval Station, Pascagoula,
This ship is named in honor of Rear Admiral John Henry Russell, U.S. Navy
(1827-1897), and his son, Major General John Russell, U.S. Marine Corps
(1872-1947). The elder Russell distinguished himself during the Civil War in
command of an expedition against a Confederate privateer at Pensacola. He also
commanded the gunboat Kennebec under Admiral Farragut on the Mississippi, and
commanded the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. His son served with distinction in
Haiti as a junior officer. He later served as assistant to the Commandant of
the Marine Corps where he oversaw the formulation of amphibious concepts that
proved crucial in World War II. Appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps in
1934, Russell emphasized development of the Fleet Marine Force and refinement
of amphibious doctrine and techniques. Russell also commemorates the service
of one previous ship of this name, destroyer DD 414 named for Rear Admiral
Russell. That ship earned 16 battle stars in World War II.
Rep. James B. Longley, Jr. of Maine will be the ceremony's principal speaker.
Brooke Astor, daughter of Major General John Russell and granddaughter of Rear
Admiral John Henry Russell, is the ship's sponsor. Commandant of the Marine
Corps General Carl E. Mundy will also speak.
Russell is the ninth of 32 Arleigh Burke Class ships authorized by Congress to
be built. These multi-mission 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 while
operating "Forward ...From the Sea." 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 operations.
The ship 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. Russell is 505 feet in length, has a beam of
66 feet and displaces approximately 8,500 tons fully loaded. The ship will
have a crew of 26 officers and 315 Sailors. Commander Peter H. Daly, U.S. Navy,
a native of Chicago, Illinois, will be the ship's commanding officer.
Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Mr. Jim McIngvale,
Director of Communications for Ingalls Shipbuilding, at (601) 935-3971.