The newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, McCampbell (DDG 85), will be christened Sunday, July 2, 2000, during a 1 p.m. EDT ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine.
McCampbell (DDG 85) honors the late Navy Capt. David McCampbell (1910-1996). McCampbell is the Navy's top ace with 34 confirmed aerial victories and recipient of the Medal of Honor while serving as commander, Air Group 15, USS Essex (CV 9) during the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19, 1944) and the Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 24, 1944). During the first encounter, McCampbell's force "virtually annihilated" an attacking force of 80 Japanese carrier-based aircraft, of which he personally shot down seven. In the Battle of Leyte Gulf, he daringly attacked a formation of at least 60 Japanese land-based aircraft. McCampbell shot down at least nine of these aircraft, forcing the remainder to abandon the attack. In addition to the Medal of Honor, McCampbell received the Navy Cross, Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross. No previous ship has been named McCampbell.
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright is the ship's sponsor and will deliver an address during the ceremony. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Albright will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen McCampbell.
McCampbell is the 35th of 58 Arleigh Burke class destroyers currently authorized by Congress. These ships can conduct a variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy.
Equipped with the latest weapons, electronics, helicopter support facilities, and propulsion, auxiliary and survivability systems, these destroyers will carry out the Navy's missions well into the next century. State-of-the-art command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems provide their ships' crew with complete situational awareness.
DDG 85 is equipped with the Navy's modern Aegis combat weapons system, the world's foremost naval weapon system. Space-age communications, radar and weapons technologies are combined in a single platform for unlimited mission flexibility. The systems include the AN/SPY-1D phased array radar; the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, which fires a combination of up to 96 Standard surface-to-air, and Tomahawk surface-to-surface missiles; and the AN/SQQ-89 Antisubmarine Warfare System, with a bow mounted AN/SQS-53C sonar.
McCampbell has six MK 46 torpedo tubes, as well as two MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems and a multi-mission 5"/62 caliber deck-mounted gun which can be used as an anti-ship weapon, close-in point defense or in naval gun fire support of forces ashore.
The ship's aircraft handling and support facilities include dual aircraft hangers (port & starboard), a dual Recovery Assist, Securing and Traversing (RAST) System, and associated machinery systems providing significant enhanced helicopter launch and recovery, command and control and maintenance/repair capabilities. The ship also features the over-the-horizon LAMPS MK III Antisubmarine Warfare Control System, and will be assigned two SH-60B Seahawk Undersea Warfare helicopters.
Navy Cmdr. Mark Montgomery, a native of Sunapee, N.H., is the prospective commanding officer of McCampbell with a crew of 389 officers, chiefs and enlisted personnel. Upon commissioning in the year 2001, McCampbell will be homeported in San Diego, Calif., as a member of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The ship is 509.5 feet in length, and has a waterline beam of 59 feet. Four gas-turbine engines power the 9,195 ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.