The Guided Missile Destroyer Mahan (DDG 72) will be
christened during an 11:00 a.m. ceremony Saturday, June 29, 1996,
at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine.
The ship is named in honor of Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer
Mahan, USN (1840-1914) who served with the union's blockading
squadrons during the Civil War, and for two terms as President of
the Naval War College. Admiral Mahan is a renowned U.S. Naval
is best known as the author of the book Influence of Sea Power on
History, which with his other scholarly works, continues to
influence strategic and geopolitical thinking throughout the
Three previous ships have borne this name. The first Mahan
(DD 102) (1918-1930) served in the Atlantic and Caribbean. The
second, (DD 364) (1936-1944), earned five battle
stars in World War II before being sunk by kamikaze aircraft.
The third Mahan (DLG 11/
DDG 42) (1960-1993) served off Lebanon and Libya and earned
twelve battle stars in Vietnam.
The Honorable Ike Skelton, Representative of Missouri, will
be the ceremony's principal speaker. Mrs. Jennie Lou Arthur,
wife of Admiral Stanley R. Arthur, USN (Retired), is the ship's
sponsor. In the time-honored tradition, Mrs. Arthur will break a
bottle of champagne across the bow and formally name Mahan.
Distinguished guests attending the ceremony will include Maine
Senators Olympia Snowe and William S. Cohen, and Maine
Congressman James B. Longley, Jr.; the Honorable Deborah P.
Christie, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management &
Comptroller); and Vice Admiral George R. Stearner, Commander,
Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.
Mahan is the 22nd of 35 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers
currently authorized by
Congress to be built. Aegis destroyers are equipped to conduct a
variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis
management to sea control and power projection, in support
of national military strategy. Mahan will operate with aircraft
carriers and battle groups in
high-threat environments and will also provide essential escort
capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces, combat
logistics ships and convoys.
These multi-mission 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 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 recapitalize the fleet.
Mahan will 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
weapons systems; Harpoon anti-ship missiles; one five-inch gun;
and electronic warfare systems.
Commander Michael L. James, a native of DeGraff, Ohio, will
be the prospective Commanding Officer of the ship which has a
crew of 26 Officers and 330 Sailors. The ship
is 505 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 66 feet and
displaces approximately 9,033 tons
when fully loaded. Four gas turbine engines power the ship to
speeds in excess of 30 knots.
For information related to the christening, contact Mrs.
Patricia Cavender, Public Affairs Officer at Bath Iron Works at