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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 644-94
November 10, 1994

NAVY ANNOUNCES CHRISTENING OF GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER

BENFOLD (DDG 65)

The guided missile destroyer Benfold (DDG 65) will be christened at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 12, 1994, at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The ship is named in honor of Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Clyde Benfold, U.S. Navy (1931-1952), who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism in the Korean Conflict.

Dr. Paul Kaminski, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, will be the ceremony's principal speaker. The ship's sponsor is Mrs. Dorothy Waida, widow of the ship's namesake. She will break a bottle of champagne across the bow in the age old Navy tradition, and formally name the ship.

Benfold is the 15th of 29 Arleigh Burke class ships currently authorized by Congress. These multi-mission ships are equipped with the Navy's modern Aegis combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility. These new destroyers will 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. These versatile ships are designed to operate independently or in support of aircraft carrier and amphibious operations.

Benfold is equipped to carry Standard surface-to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from forward and aft vertical launching systems; two fully automated, radar controlled Phalanx close-in weapon systems; Harpoon anti-ship missiles; one five-inch gun and electronic warfare systems. The ship is 505 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 66 feet and displaces approximately 8,422 tons fully loaded. The ship will have a crew of 26 officers, 24 chief petty officers, and 291 enlisted personnel.