USS BULKELEY (DDG 84), the newest in a series of advanced Aegis guided missile destroyers built for the U.S. Navy by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)
, will be commissioned on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2001, in New York City at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
This ship is named in honor of Vice Adm. John D. Bulkeley, USN, (1911-1996), a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who spearheaded the evacuation of General Douglas MacArthur from the island of Corregidor in World War II and later served as president, Board of Inspection and Survey for the U.S. Navy.
More than 5,000 invited guests will be in attendance. Following commissioning, the ship will be homeported in Norfolk, Va., as an element of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Cmdr. Carlos Del Toro
, USN, of New York, is now in command of the 509.5-foot, 9,300-ton destroyer.
USS BULKELEY (DDG 84) is the 34th ship of the DDG 51 program, and the 15th to be built by the Ingalls Operations of Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector. Following DDG 84, Ingalls has contracts and options to produce nine additional Aegis destroyers
, with six of those ships in various stages of production.
Construction of DDG 84 began at Ingalls in May 1998. The ship's keel was laid a year later and the ship sailed into the Gulf of Mexico for her first sea trials in June of this year. The ship was delivered to the Navy in August and departed Pascagoula in early November for her commissioning site in New York.
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. These multimission ships provide primary protection for the Navy's aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces, combat logistics ships and convoys.
DDG 84 carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as Standard missiles to intercept hostile aircraft and missiles at extended ranges. Both Tomahawk and Standard missiles are launched from forward and aft vertical launching systems. DDG 84 is also equipped with the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System.
Five ships sponsors selected by the Secretary of the Navy will order DDG 84's more than 300 officers and enlisted personnel to their posts, giving the traditional order to "Man our ship and bring her to life!" in a triumphant conclusion to the ship's stirringly patriotic commissioning ceremony. The sponsors include: three daughters of Vice Adm. Bulkeley: Joan Bulkeley Stade, of Oak Brook, Ill.; Regina Bulkeley Day, of York, Neb.; Diana Bulkeley Lindsay, of Olney, Md; one daughter-in-law, Carol A. Bulkeley, of Virginia Beach, Va.; and Sarah C. Fargo, wife of Adm. Thomas B. Fargo, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.