The Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Truxtun, will be commissioned Saturday, April 25, 2009, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony at Charleston, S.C.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead 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. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when they give the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
Designated DDG 103, the destroyer honors Commodore Thomas Truxtun (1755-1822) who embarked upon a seafaring career at age 12. When the Navy was initially organized, he was selected as one of its first six captains on June 4, 1798. Assigned command of the USS Constellation, one of the nation’s new frigates, Truxtun put to sea to prosecute the undeclared naval war with revolutionary France. On Feb. 9, 1799, Truxtun achieved one of his most famous victories when Constellation battered the French warship L’Insurgente into submission in one of the most illustrious battles of the quasi-war with France.
Five previous Navy ships have been named Truxtun: a brig launched in 1842, two destroyers DD 14 and DD 229, a high speed transport APD 98 (initially designated a destroyer escort DE 282), and a nuclear-powered frigate (DLGN) later re-designated cruiser CGN 35.
The 53rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Truxtun will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Truxtun will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.
Cmdr. Timothy Weber, a native of Decatur, Ga., will become the first commanding officer and lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Truxtun was 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.
Interested media may contact the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. Additional information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4 .