Secretary of Defense William J. Perry will be principal
speaker at the commissioning ceremony of the Guided Missile
Destroyer Cole (DDG 67) during an 11:00 a.m. ceremony Saturday,
June 8, 1996, at Port Everglades, near Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The new destroyer is named in honor of Marine Sergeant
Darrell S. Cole, a Missouri native, who was posthumously awarded
the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in combat on February
19, 1945, during the battle with Japanese forces at Iwo Jima.
Under heavy fire, Sgt. Cole led his men up a sloping beach toward
Airfield Number One, personally destroying two enemy emplacements
with hand grenades. With his unit pinned down by enemy fire, the
24-year-old Sgt. Cole, armed only with a pistol and hand
grenades, advanced alone three times to attack enemy positions.
Until killed by an enemy grenade, Sgt. Cole maintained a
formidable attack on the Japanese position, enabling his company
to storm the remaining fortifications and continue the advance by
U.S. forces. Sgt. Cole was also awarded the Bronze Star for his
leadership and tenacious determination in the face of terrific
opposition during the earlier Battle of Saipan.
Accompanying Secretary Perry will be Mrs. Lee Perry, his
wife and ship's sponsor, who will give the first order to man
our ship and bring her to life. Distinguished guests attending
the ceremony will include Admiral Jay L. Johnson, acting Chief of
Naval Operations; Vice Admiral Douglas J. Katz, Commander, Naval
Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Rear Admiral George A.
Huchting, Aegis Program Manager; Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer, USN
(Retired), Father of Aegis; and Mr. Jerry St. Pe, President of
Ingalls Shipbuilding and Senior Vice President of Litton
Cole is the 17th of 35 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers
currently authorized by Congress
to be built. Aegis destroyers are equipped to conduct a variety
of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea
control and power projection, in support of national military
strategy. The ship will operate with aircraft carriers and
battle groups in high-threat environments and will also provide
essential escort capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious
forces, combat logistics ships and convoys.
The ship is equipped with the Aegis Combat System which
includes: the AN/SPY 1D phased-array radar, which scans in all
directions simultaneously to detect, track and engage hundreds of
aircraft and missiles while continuously watching the sky for new
wavetop to the stratosphere; the MK 41 Vertical Launching System,
which fires a combination of up to 90 Standard surface-to-air,
Tomahawk surface-to-land or surface-to-surface and Vertical
Launch ASROC antisubmarine missiles; and the AN/SQQ 89
Antisubmarine Warfare System, with a bow-mounted AN/SQS 53C sonar
and AN/SQR 19 towed array. Cole will have deck-mounted Harpoon
anti-ship missile launchers and MK 32 torpedo tubes, MK 15
Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems and a five-inch, rapid-firing
deck gun. Cole also has the LAMPS MK III Antisubmarine Warfare
Control System, with landing and replenishment facilities for
SH60B antisubmarine warfare helicopters.
Following its commissioning, Cole will join the U.S.
Atlantic Fleet, with Commander Stewart O'Bryan, a native of
Louisville, Kentucky, as the Commanding Officer. The ship will
be homeported in Norfolk, Va., with a crew of 25 Officers, and
315 Sailors. The ship is 505 feet in length, has a waterline
beam of 66 feet and displaces approximately 8,850 tons when fully
loaded. Four gas turbine engines power the ship to speeds in
excess of 30 knots.
For information related to the commissioning, contact Mr.
David Miller, Director, Corporate Communications, Port Everglades
Department of Broward County (954) 523-3404.