IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
The U.S. Navy's newest costal minehunter, Oriole (MHC 55), will be
commissioned at 10 a.m., Saturday, September 16, 1995, at the Harborplace
Amphitheater in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton will be the ceremony's principal speaker.
Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Benjamin Cardin will also
speak. Baltimore Oriole baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and his wife
Barbara, who christened the ship in May 1993, will be present at the ceremony.
Named for the Maryland State bird, four previous ships have been named Oriole:
a Civil War sternwheel gunboat; a 15-gun sloop that served in the Maryland
Naval Militia (1904-1906); a minesweeper (AM 7) (1918-1946) that participated
in the clearing of the World War II North Sea mine barrage; and a coastal
minehunter (AMCU) (ex-LCI(L) 973) (1952-1955).
Oriole is the fifth of 12 Osprey Class ships authorized by Congress to be
built. The ship's primary mission is reconnaissance, classification, and
neutralization of moored and bottom mines in harbors and coastal waterways.
The ship is armed with two .50 caliber machine guns, a high definition,
variable depth sonar, and a remotely operated robotic submarine used to
neutralize mines. Oriole measures 188 feet in length, has a beam of 36 feet
and displaces approximately 895 tons. The ship will carry a crew of five
officers and 46 Sailors. Lieutenant Commander Peter F. Grause, USN, a native
of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, will be the ship's commanding officer.
Media wishing to attend the ceremony should arrive at the Harborplace
Amphitheater by 9:30 a.m. For more information, contact LT Karl Johnson, Naval
District Washington Public Affairs, at (202) 433-2218.