STETHEM (DDG 63) AT PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA
The U.S. Navy will commission the guided missile destroyer, Stethem (DDG 63)
at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 21, 1995, at Port Hueneme, California.
The Honorable Steven S. Honigman, General Counsel of the Navy, will be the
ceremony's principal speaker. Mrs. Patricia Stethem, mother of the ship's
namesake and its sponsor, will attend the ceremony. Other distinquished guests
at the ceremony will include Representative Elton W. Gallegly; The Honorable
Toni Young, Mayor of Port Hueneme; Vice Admiral David B. Robinson, Commander,
Naval Surface Forces Pacific; and Rear Admiral David J. Nash, Commander, Naval
Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers.
The Stethem is named in honor of Petty Officer Second Class Robert Dean
Stethem (1961-1985), posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star
for heroism exhibited when he and other passengers and crew of Trans World
Airlines flight 847 were taken hostage by terrorists at Athens, Greece on June
14, 1985. Petty Officer Stethem was subsequently killed by the terrorists
while the aircraft was on the ground in Lebanon.
Petty Officer Stethem's family has a long and proud naval history, with both
parents and two brothers having served or currently serving in the U.S. Navy.
Stethem is the 13th of 32 Arleigh Burke Class ships authorized by Congress to
be built. These multi-mission ships are equipped with the Navy's AEGIS combat
weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons
technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility while operating
"Forward ...From the Sea." 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.
The ship 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. Stethem is 505 feet in length, has a beam of 66
feet and displaces approximately 8,600 tons fully loaded. The ship will have a
crew of 23 officers and 315 Sailors.
Commander Steven C. Miller, USN, of San Diego, California, will be the ship's
Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Linda Wadley, Naval
Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, California, at (805) 982-2056.