The Guided Missile Destroyer McFaul (DDG 74) will be
christened at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss., during an
11a.m. ceremony on Saturday, April 12, 1997.
The ship is named in honor of Chief Engineman Donald L.
McFaul, U.S. Navy (1957-1989) a native of Orange County, Calif.
Chief Petty Officer McFaul gave his life for his comrades and
was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for service with Seal
Team Four during Operation Just Cause in Panama, which drove
dictator Manuel Noriega from power.
While under heavy small-arms
fire, Chief McFaul left the relative safety of his position with
a single focus of assisting his wounded comrades.
carrying a seriously wounded platoon member to safety, Chief
McFaul was mortally wounded by enemy fire.
His heroic actions
and courage under fire saved American lives and were an
inspiration for other acts of heroism as the assault force
prevailed in this decisive battle.
Senator Dan Coats of Indiana will be the principal speaker
and his wife, Marcia Coats, will be the ship's sponsor.
of Honor for the ceremony are Mrs. Shirley Lee, mother of the
ship's namesake, Mrs. Debra McFaul Baker and Mrs. Candy McFaul
Nelson, both sisters of the namesake.
Brother of the namesake,
Mr. Michael McFaul, will also participate in the christening
In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Coats will
break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally name
McFaul is the 24th of 35 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers
currently authorized by
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 the
national military strategy.
McFaul 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
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. The ship will carry Standard surface-
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.
Cmdr. Bernard L. Jackson, USN, a native of Macon, Ga., is
the prospective commanding officer of McFaul which has a crew of
21 officers and 322 enlisted.
McFaul will join the U.S. Atlantic
Fleet, and will be homeported in Norfolk, Va., following
commissioning in 1998.
The ship is 505 feet in length, has a
waterline beam of 66 feet, and displaces approximately 9,033 tons
when fully loaded.
Four gas-turbine engines power the ship to
speeds in excess of 30 knots.