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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 681-94
December 08, 1994

NAVY TO COMMISSION DESTROYER

MITSCHER (DDG 57)

The guided missile destroyer Mitscher (DDG 57), will be commissioned at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 10, 1994, at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.

The ship is named in honor of Admiral Marc A. Mitscher (1887-1947), distinguished carrier task force commander of World War II. One previous ship of this name (DDG 35) served from 1953-1978, earning a Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton will be the ceremony's principal speaker. Also attending the ceremony will be the ship's sponsor, Ms. Elizabeth Ferguson, niece of the late Admiral Mitscher.

Mitscher is the seventh 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, as part of the Navy's overall mission to conduct forward operations "... From the Sea."

Mitscher 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. Commander Roy J. Balaconis, U.S. Navy, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, will be the ship's commanding officer.

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