Military and Congressional leaders called on the nation to purchase more technologically advanced ships like the USS Shoup (DDG 86), because, in the words of the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, "This ship is the 21st century answer to the global cancer of terrorism."
USS Shoup, the newest in a series of advanced Aegis guided missile
destroyers built for the U.S. Navy by Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ship Systems sector in Pascagoula, Miss., was commissioned on Saturday before more than 5,000 guests in attendance at Port Terminal 37 in Seattle.
The ship is named in honor of U.S. Marine Corps Gen. David M.
Shoup (1904-1983), a naval hero of World War II, a Medal of Honor
recipient for his actions during the initial landings on Betio, Tarawa
Atoll, in the Pacific in 1943, and who later became the 22nd commandant
of the Marine Corps.
"This great ship builds
on Gen. Shoup's legacy and will soon be
the embodiment of the power of our naval teamwork," said Gen. James L.
Jones Jr., USMC
, commandant of the Marine Corps, in delivering the
principal commissioning address. "Throughout the world, she will sail
with confidence in the defense of our freedoms, representing our 21st
century answer to those who would threaten the promise of democracy and
our freedom - still mankind's best hope for the future.
"May Shoup and her crew always be safe, supported by the
realization that in order for us to continue to be the land of the
free, we'll also have to be the home of the brave," Gen. Jones said.
"USS Shoup is such a home."
"USS Shoup represents a continued investment in our military
readiness to play a role in this new war against terrorism," said U.S.
Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington's Second Congressional District. "Shoup
and the men and women who serve aboard her will play a key role in
protecting our battle groups, aiding homeland security, projecting U.S.
power, and promoting and protecting democracy abroad and at home
"From this day forward, this magnificent ship will be recognized
around the world as a symbol of American naval supremacy," said Adm.
Robert J. Natter, USN commander in chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. "And
certainly, these ships are not cheap, but neither is liberty, neither
is freedom of the seas, and neither is the fight in which we're
currently engaged against terrorism around the world. The face of war
has changed from enemies holding national allegiance to shadowy cowards
killing innocent people - terrorists whose only allegiance is to their
own depraved interests and whose goal is to tear apart all that is
great and wonderful about America and all the free nations of the
"By putting this powerful marvel of modern technology to sea and
preparing her to join the fleet, the United States Navy and the
Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems team have accomplished a feat that is the
envy of most all other seafaring nations, for this ship is a true
example of the shipbuilder's art," said Rear Adm. Roland B. Knapp, USN,
program executive officer for Aircraft Carriers. "In a time when the
strength and readiness of our fleet is challenged on a daily basis,
it's a reminder to all of us that we are committed to provide the men
and women of the United States Navy with the best and most capable
platform on which to carry out our nation's strategies."
Mrs. Claudia Natter, wife of Adm. Robert J. Natter, USN commander
in chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and Mrs. Zola Shoup, of Arlington, Va.,
the widow of Gen. Shoup, are the Ship's Sponsors. Matron of Honor, Lt.
Col. Catherine Chase, USMCR, of Fairport, N.Y., represented her
grandmother (Mrs. Shoup) at the ceremony. DDG 86, commanded by Cmdr. E. Bernard Carter, a native of Hopkins, S.C., is now homeported in Everett, Wash., as an element of the U.S.