U.S. Navy Commissions Northrop Grumman-Built Aegis Destroyer

Monday, April 23, 2001
The U.S. Navy today commissioned the USS Lassen (DDG 82), the newest in a series of advanced Aegis guided missile destroyers built by Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Measuring 509.5 ft. (155.2 m) and 9,300 tons, USS Lassen, which is the 32nd ship of 58 Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) Class destroyers currently authorized by Congress - is the 14th to be built by Ingalls.

Following DDG 82, Ingalls has contracts and options to produce 11 additional Aegis destroyers, with six of those ships in various stages of production.

The new ship was placed in commission for Pacific Fleet duty, witnessed by about 4,000 guests at Channelside Pier in Tampa.

Upon USS Lassen's departure from Tampa, the vessel will be homeported in San Diego as an element of Destroyer Squadron 23, headed by Cmdr. Sean E. O'Connor, USN.

DDG 82 is Ingalls' second Aegis destroyer built under Flight IIA, a major upgrade program featuring the addition of aircraft hangars that will accommodate two SH-60B helicopters.

Construction of DDG 82 began at Ingalls on Sept. 8, 1997. The ship's keel was laid on Aug. 24, 1998, and it was launched on Oct. 16, 1999. DDG 82 sailed into the Gulf of Mexico for its first sea trials on Nov. 14, 2000. The ship was delivered to the Navy on Feb. 5, 2001.

In naming DDG 82, the Navy honors Cmdr. Clyde Everett Lassen, USN, (1942-1994), a native of Fort Myers, Fla., who earned the Medal of Honor for his courageous rescue of two downed aviators while in command of a search and rescue helicopter in Vietnam.

Lieutenant Lassen became the first naval aviator and fifth Navy man to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in Vietnam. His list of decorations include the Air Medal (First Strike/Flight Award); Presidential Unit Citation; Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars and Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device.

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