USS Stockdale (DDG 106), the Navy's newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, will be arriving at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme on Tuesday, April 14th at approximately 10:00 a.m. and will be Commissioned during a formal ceremony on April 18 at 11:00 featuring Admiral Keating as the Keynote Speaker and H. Ross Perot as the Honorary Chair for the event. An estimated 100 Vietnam Veterans and former Prisoners of War, and Medal of Honor recipients are attending this historic commissioning and the surrounding events.
Named after the much respected American war hero and former Vice-Presidential candidate, Navy Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale, the fast warship will provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. As the first destroyer named for the Navy's highest ranking POW, the ship embodies the spirit and patriotism of Medal of Honor Recipient Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale. The crew of the USS Stockdale, and all who support this endeavor, will join together to become a powerful symbol of a strong united America, guided by the ship's motto, "Return With Honor."
The Ventura/Santa Barbara visit is fitting for the Commissioning Ceremony as the Santa Barbara Council of the Navy League of the United States was invited to adopt the USS Stockdale last October. As the adopting council, the Santa Barbara Navy League's role is to support the ship's commissioning ceremony, fund ship "enhancements" so the crew has a touch of home while at sea and provide support to the crew and their families for the life of the ship.
"This visit by one of our Navy's newest and latest designed ships to the California Coast is not only very exciting, but it also helps serve the need to celebrate and honor the tremendous service to our nation by Admiral James Bond Stockdale, the NAM-POWs, and all of our Vietnam era veterans," said Karen Crawford, President Navy League of the United States - Santa Barbara Council.
The naval crew of more than 250 men and women will be welcomed to Ventura/Santa Barbara with a series of activities and events.