The Oceanographic Research Ship Ronald H. Brown (NOAA AGOR)
will be christened today during a 1:00 p.m. ceremony, at Halter
Marine, Inc., Moss Point, Mississippi.
The ship is named in honor of the late Ronald H. Brown,
(1941-1996), former Secretary of Commerce who was killed in a
plane crash April 3, 1996, in Croatia. Secretary Brown was on a
diplomatic mission in support of the peacekeeping effort in the
Dr. D. James Baker, Under Secretary for Oceans and
Atmosphere, Department of Commerce, will be the ceremony's
principal speaker. Serving as the ship's sponsor, will
be Mrs. Alma Brown, widow of the ship's namesake. In the time-
honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Brown will break a bottle of
champagne across the bow and formally name the ship.
The Honorable Steven S. Honigman, General Counsel of the Navy,
will also attend the ceremony.
Ronald H. Brown is the fourth of its class to be designed
and built to commercial standards by Halter Marine. Upon
delivery, the ship will be operated by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The ship will provide primary support to the NOAA's programs
which collect oceanographic and atmospheric data necessary for
scientists to understand and predict
global climate changes on seasonal-to-annual and decade-to-
centennial time scales.
The ship is 274 feet in length, has a beam of 53 feet and
will displace 3,250 tons
when fully loaded. Two 3,000 horsepower propulsion motors will
drive the ship to speeds
of 15 knots.
For information relating to the christening, the Supervisor
of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair point of contact is Mrs.
Maria Norman-Pike, at (601) 475-1211, extension 79.