Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig has announced the decision to name the 44th ship of the Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers, "Nitze."
DDG 94's name will honor Paul H. Nitze, whose distinguished government career included serving as the 57th secretary of the Navy from 1963 to 1967. During his time as the Navy secretary, he raised the level of attention given to quality of Service issues. His many achievements included establishing the first Personnel Policy Board and retention task force (the Alford Board), and obtaining targeted personnel bonuses. He lengthened commanding officer tours and raised command responsibility pay.
Nitze became a strong advocate for officers' advanced education opportunities and worked to enhance greater integration of senior Navy staff by moving the Chief of Naval Operations' office next to his own. He also worked to ease unnecessary burdens on sailors by relaxing in-port duty section requirements and hiring civilian custodial workers.
Born in Amherst, Mass., on Jan. 16, 1907, Nitze graduated "Cum Laude" from Harvard University in 1928. After working in investment banking where he was known as a Wall Street prodigy, he left in 1941 to enter government service. In 1942, he was chief of the Metals and Minerals Branch of the Board of Economic Warfare, until named director, Foreign Procurement and Development Branch of the Foreign Economic Administration in 1943. During the period 1944-1946, Nitze served as director and then as vice chairman of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey for which President Truman awarded him the Medal of Merit.
For the next several years, he served with the Department of State, beginning in the position of deputy director of the Office of International Trade Policy. In 1949, he was named deputy to the assistant secretary of State for Economic Affairs. In August of that year, he became deputy director of the State Department's policy planning staff, and was appointed director the following year. As director, Nitze was the principal author of a highly influential secret National Security Council document (NSC-68), which provided the strategic outline for increased U.S. expenditures to counter the perceived threat of Soviet armament.
From 1953 to 1961, Nitze served as president of the Foreign Service Educational Foundation while concurrently serving as associate of the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Reseach, the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. His publications during this period include "U.S. Foreign Policy: 1945-1955." In 1961 President Kennedy appointed Nitze assistant secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and in 1963 he became the secretary of the Navy, serving until 1967.
Following his term as secretary of the Navy, he served as deputy secretary of Defense (1967-1969), as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) (1969-1973), and assistant secretary of Defense for International Affairs (1973-1976). Later, fearing Soviet rearmament, he opposed the ratification of SALT II (1979). He was President Reagan's chief negotiator of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty (1981-1984). In 1984, Nitze was named special advisor to the president and secretary of State on Arms Control. For more than forty years, Nitze was one of the chief architects of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union. President Reagan awarded Nitze the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 for his contributions to the freedom and security of the United States.
Danzig said, "Paul Nitze, in his many central roles in and out of government, brought strategic intellect and extraordinary courage to bear that helped shape our national security in an era when it was uniquely challenged. As secretary of the Navy, he also demonstrated a respect and care for sailors and Marines that directly improved their quality of service. USS Nitze will reflect Paul Nitze's toughness and care in all that the vessel undertakes for America in the years ahead."
Arleigh Burke class destroyers are equipped to operate with battle groups in high-threat environments and conduct a variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of national military strategy. They also provide essential escort capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces, combat logistics ships and convoys.
These multi-mission ships are equipped with the Navy's AEGIS combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies into a single platform for unlimited flexibility and significant influence while operating "Forward...From the Sea." These destroyers replace older, less capable ships that are being taken out of service as the Navy reduces spending while maintaining quality as part of its overall plan to recapitalize the fleet.
DDG 94 will be built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and will join the fleet in 2004. The ship is capable of firing surface-to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles from forward and aft vertical launching systems and is configured with port and starboard torpedo tubes, one five-inch gun; and advanced electronic warfare systems. This will be the 16th Flight IIA Arleigh Burke class destroyer to employ an embarked helicopter detachment capable of supporting dual SH-60 helicopters.
Additional information about this class of ship is available on line at http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/ships/ship-dd.html.