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Release No: 075-95
February 16, 1995


The guided missile destroyer Gonzalez (DDG 66) will be christened at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, 1995, at Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine.

The ship is named in honor of Sgt. Alfredo Gonzalez, U.S. Marine Corps, who was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for conspicuous courage and dynamic leadership of his unit during the Vietnam War.

Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine will be the ceremony's principal speaker. The ship's sponsor is Dolia Gonzalez, mother of the late Sgt. Gonzalez. In the age old Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne across the bow and formally name the ship.

Gonzalez is the 16th of 32 Arleigh Burke Class ships authorized by Congress to be built. These multi-missioned 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 modernize the fleet. These versatile ships are designed to operate independently or in support of aircraft carrier and amphibious operations.

Gonzalez 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 sailors.

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