Designated hull number DDG 103, the new destroyer honors Commodore Thomas Truxtun (1755-1822) who embarked upon a seafaring career at age 12. When the U.S. Navy was organized, he was selected as one of its first six captains on June 4, 1798. He was assigned command of the USS Constellation, one of the new frigates, and he put to sea to prosecute the undeclared naval war with revolutionary France. On Feb. 9, 1799, Truxtun scored the first of his two most famous victories. After an hour's fight, Constellation battered the French warship L’Insurgente into submission in one of the most illustrious battles of the quasi-war with France. Truxtun retired from the Navy as a commodore and has had five previous ships carry his name: a brig launched in 1842, a destroyer with the hull number DD 14, a destroyer with the hull number DD 229, a high speed transport with the hull number APD 98 (initially designated a destroyer escort with the hull number DE 282), and a nuclear-powered frigate (DLGN) later re-designated a cruiser with the hull number CGN 35.
Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Carol Leigh Roelker and Susan Scott Martin, descendants of the ship’s namesake, will serve as sponsors of the ship.
In accordance with Navy tradition, they will break a bottle of champagne across the ship’s bow and christen the ship in the name of Truxtun.
Truxtun is the 53rd of 62 Arleigh Burke class destroyers. This multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. Truxtun will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
Cdr. Timothy R. Weber, a native of Decatur, Ga., will become the first commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Truxtun is being built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Miss. The ship is 510 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
For more information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers, visit http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4 .