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Release No: 340-96
June 06, 1996


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 Industries.

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 targets from

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.


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