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Release No: 835-04
August 27, 2004

Navy to Commission Destroyer Momsen

The newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Momsen, will be commissioned on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004, during an 11 a.m. CST ceremony in Panama City, Fla.

The ship honors Vice Adm. Charles Bowers "Swede" Momsen (1896-1967), a 1919 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, who is considered the father of the U.S. Navys diving programs. In recognition of his many accomplishments, the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla., was named in his honor and the commissioning ceremony location was selected because of this reason. Although he had many noteworthy achievements during his Naval career, Momsen is best known for inventing the Momsen Lung, an escape mechanism for submarines that the Navy still uses today, and the Momsen-McCann Diving Bell. This invention is best remembered when Momsen used it during the rescue/salvage operation following the sinking of USS Squalus after she sank in 243 feet of water in May 1939. Momsen led the successful effort, which resulted in the rescue of 33 crew members trapped aboard the submarine and remains to this day the greatest undersea rescue in history. Momsen received a commendation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt for these actions.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Evelyn Momsen Hailey, daughter of the ship's namesake will serve as ships sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition of commissioning U.S. naval ships, Hailey will give the order to man our ship and bring her to life!

Momsen is the 42nd ship of 62 Arleigh Burke class destroyers currently authorized by Congress and the 23rd destroyer built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. This highly capable multi-mission ship 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. Momsen will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously.

The ship contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century

Cmdr. Edward F. Kenyon, a native of Binghamton, N.Y., and a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is the ships first commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 380 officers and enlisted personnel. One of those crewmembers will be Petty Officer Second Class AndrewHailey, the great-grandson of Momsen.

As a member of the Pacific Fleet, Momsen will be homeported in Everett, Wash. The ship is 511 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, an overall beam of 66 feet, and a navigational draft of 32 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the 9,200-ton ship to speeds of more than 30 knots.

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