The Guided Missile Destroyer Gonzalez (DDG 66) will be
commissioned during a
2:00 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, October 12, 1996, at Naval
Station Ingleside, Texas.
The ship is named in honor of Sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez,
(1946-1968), U.S. Marine Corps, who was awarded a posthumous
Medal of Honor for conspicuous courage and dynamic leadership of
his unit during the Vietnam War.
The Honorable John H. Dalton, Secretary of the Navy, will be
the principal speaker for
the ceremony. Mrs. Dolia Gonzalez, the ship's sponsor, will
commission the ship named for her son. She will give the first
order to man our ship and bring her to life.
Distinguished guests attending the ceremony will include:
Texas Congressional representatives, Kika de la Garza and Solomon
Ortiz; the Honorable Joe Ochoa, Mayor of Edinburg, Texas; Vice
Adm. Douglas J. Katz, Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S.
Atlantic Fleet; Vice Adm. Alexander J. Krekich, Commander Naval
Surface Force, U.S.
Pacific Fleet; Rear Adm. George A. Huchting, Program Executive
Officer for Surface Combatants/AEGIS Program; Rear Adm. Dennis R.
Conley, Commander Mine Warfare Command; Maj. Gen. Ray L. Smith,
Deputy Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force;
Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer (Retired), Father of AEGIS; Mr. Allan
Cameron, President, Bath Iron Works; and Mr. Joseph T. Threston,
Martin Corporation, Government Electronic Systems.
Gonzalez is the 16th of 35 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers
currently authorized by
Congress to be built. These multi-missioned 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.
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. Gonzalez 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 will carry
to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from
forward and aft vertical launching systems; two fully automated,
radar-controlled Phalanx close-in weapons systems; Harpoon anti-
ship missiles; one five-inch gun; and electronic warfare systems.
Following its commissioning, Gonzalez will join the U.S.
Atlantic Fleet with Cmdr. Frederick D. Allard, Jr., a native of
Fort Belvoir, Va., as the commanding officer. The ship will be
homeported in Norfolk, Va., with a crew of 26 officers, 24 chief
petty officers, and 291 sailors. The ship is 505 feet in length,
has a waterline beam of 66 feet and displaces approximately 8,422
tons when fully loaded. Four gas-turbine engines power the ship
to speeds of 20 knots.
For information related to the commissioning, contact Lt.
Ingrid Mueller, Naval Station Ingleside, Texas, at (512) 776-