The U.S. Navy will commission the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Preble (DDG 88), on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2002, during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony at the World Trade Center Pier in Boston.
The ship is named in honor of Commodore Edward Preble, a pioneer in U.S. naval and merchant marine service, who was born on Aug. 15, 1761, at Falmouth, Eastern Massachusetts, now Portland, Maine. Five previous ships have borne the name Preble.
Massachusetts' senior U.S. Senator, Edward M. Kennedy, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Connie Clark, wife of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark, is serving as ship sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Clark will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Preble is the 38th destroyer of 62 Arleigh Burke class currently authorized by Congress. These highly capable, multi-mission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy.
The mission of Preble is to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, providing primary protection for the Navy's aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships, and independent operations as necessary. Preble will have capabilities in cooperative engagement and area theater ballistic missile defense and is capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons systems designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
Cmdr. Timothy Batzler of Baltimore and a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy is the commanding officer of the ship. Preble, homeported in San Diego as an element of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, will have a crew of approximately 383 officers and enlisted personnel. It is the 17th Arleigh Burke class ship built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss., is 509.5 feet in length, has an overall beam of 66.5 feet, and a navigational draft of 31.9 feet. Four gas-turbine engines power the 9,300-ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
For more information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers, visit: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/ships/ship-dd.html .