The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, Dewey, Saturday, March 6, 2010, during an 11 a.m. PST ceremony at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. His wife, Deborah Mullen, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when she gives the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
Designated DDG 105, the new destroyer honors Adm. George Dewey (1837-1917) who commanded the Asiatic Station from the cruiser Olympia. Shortly after the onset of the Spanish-American War, Dewey led his squadron of warships into Manila Bay on April 30, 1898. The next morning, his squadron destroyed the Spanish fleet in only two hours without a single American loss. A widely popular hero of his day, Dewey was commissioned Admiral of the Navy, a rank created for him, in March 1903. Two previous ships have proudly carried his name. The first was a destroyer (DD 349) that survived the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and went on to receive 13 battle stars for World War II service. The second was a destroyer commissioned as a guided-missile frigate (DLG 14) before being reclassified as a guided missile destroyer (DDG 45).
Dewey is the 55th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The ship will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management, to sea control and power projection. Dewey 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 for 21st Century Seapower,” which postures the sea services to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.
Cmdr. Warren Buller, of Concord, Mass., will become the first commanding officer of the ship and lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Dewey was built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. 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.