The Navy will christen the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Wayne E. Meyer, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. Designated DDG 108, the new destroyer honors the retired Navy rear admiral who led the development of Aegis, the first fully integrated combat system built to defend against air, surface and subsurface threats.
In 1963, Secretary of the Navy Fred Korth chose Meyer to lead a special task force for surface guided missiles. Meyer’s efforts laid the groundwork for a successful prototype Aegis system in 1974. Meyer then served as the Aegis program manager from 1975 to 1983.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Anna Mae Meyer
will serve as sponsor of the ship named for her husband. In accordance with Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne across the ship’s bow and christen the ship.
Wayne E. Meyer is the 58th of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and carries the 100th Aegis Combat System built. The ship will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Wayne E. Meyer will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with “A Cooperative Strategy of 21st Century Seapower,” the new maritime strategy that postures the sea services to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.
Cmdr. Nick A. Sarap Jr., born in Richmond, Va., and raised in Zanesville, Ohio, is the prospective commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton destroyer is being built by Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company. The ship is 509 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.