Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton will be the principal
speaker at the christening of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier
Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during an 10 a.m. ceremony, Saturday,
September 7, 1996, at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News,
Virginia. The christening ceremony will be open to the public.
The carrier is named in honor of Harry S. Truman (1884-
1972), thirty-third President of the United States. Among
President Truman's notable accomplishments were ending World War
II; providing economic aid and assistance to devastated postwar
European countries through the Marshall Plan; promising American
support of free nations against direct and indirect Communist
aggression under the Truman Doctrine; and establishing the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Mrs. Margaret Truman Daniel, daughter of the late President,
is the ship's sponsor. In
a time-honored tradition, Mrs. Drucie Snyder Horton, matron of
honor, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to name
Harry S. Truman formally.
Distinguished guests attending the ceremony will include
Virginia Senators John
Warner and Charles Robb; Missouri Congressmen Ike Skelton and
Harold Volkmer; Virginia Congressmen Norman Sisisky, Herbert
Bateman, and Owen Pickett; Missouri Congresswoman Pat Danner;
Virginia Congressman Robert Scott; the Honorable Paul Kaminski,
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology; the
Honorable John Douglass, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for
Research, Development and Acquisition; Admiral Jay L. Johnson,
Chief of Naval Operations; Admiral William J. Flanagan, Jr.,
Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Vice Admiral George R.
Sterner, Commander Naval Sea Systems Command; Vice Admiral Frank
L. Bowman, Chief of Naval Personnel; Vice Admiral John J. Mazach,
Commander Naval Air
Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Mr. Bill Fricks, President, Newport
News Shipbuilding; and Mr. Dana Mead, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, Tenneco.
Harry S. Truman is the eighth of nine Nimitz Class carriers
currently authorized by
Congress to be built. Aircraft carriers are deployed worldwide
in support of U.S. interests and commitments. They can respond
to global crises in ways ranging from peacetime presence to
Captain Thomas G. Otterbein, a native of Bad Axe, Michigan,
is the prospective commanding officer of the carrier with a crew
of more than 160 officers and 3,200 sailors.
The ship is 1,096 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 134
feet, a flight deck width of 252
feet, and displaces approximately 95,000 tons when fully loaded.
Two nuclear reactors and
four steam turbine engines power the ship to speeds in excess of
30 knots. The ship's armament includes four NATO Sea Sparrow
missile launchers and four 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems
mounts. An airwing of approximately 2,500 personnel will support
the 80 aircraft onboard.