PASCAGOULA, Miss., Dec. 11, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- One of the nation's most prestigious naval families will be honored Dec. 15, 2001, when the U.S. Navy's newest Aegis guided missile destroyer is christened at Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Ingalls Operations here. The new ship, the DDG 89, will be launched Dec. 12 and later officially christened "MUSTIN" in recognition of a family that has devoted nearly a century of Navy service to America.

Mrs. Lucy Holcomb Mustin, wife of ship's namesake Vice Adm. Henry C. Mustin, USN, retired; Mrs. Jean Phillips Mustin, wife of ship's namesake Thomas Mustin, former lieutenant commander, USN; and Mrs. Douglas Mustin St. Denis, sister of Vice Adm. and Mr. Mustin, will christen the vessel during a ceremony to be held at Ingalls' facilities on the west bank of the Pascagoula River. Mrs. Anne Howard Thomas, who served as Matron of Honor for the first ship named MUSTIN in 1938, will also serve these sponsors as Matron of Honor.

Adm. Vern Clark, USN, chief of naval operations, will deliver the ceremony's principal address.

The public is invited to the christening, which begins at 10 a.m. C.S.T. Bus transportation will be provided from the shipyard's west bank parking lots to and from the christening site. Guests are requested to be at Ingalls by 9:15 a.m.

The U.S. Navy Band from New Orleans, La., will entertain guests before and during the ceremony. The Rev. M. David Watson, pastor of The Liberty Assembly of God Church in Gautier, will deliver the ceremony's invocation. The Pascagoula High School NJROTC Color Guard will participate in the festivities as well.

Other ceremony participants will include Vice Adm. Timothy J. LaFleur, USN Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Rear Adm. William W. Cobb Jr., program executive officer for Theater Surface Combatants; Rear Adm. (SEL) Charles T. Bush, USN director, Theater Air and Missile Defense, program executive officer for Theater Surface Combatants; Capt. Philip Johnson, USN, supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Pascagoula; Dr. Philip A. Dur, president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems sector; and Dave Wright, president, Ingalls Operations.

MUSTIN (DDG 89) is the 39th ship in the ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG 51) Class of Aegis-guided missile destroyers, the Navy's most powerful destroyer fleet. These highly-capable, multimission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.

DDG 89 is the 18th Aegis destroyer to be launched and christened of 25 ships under contract or option to Ingalls Operations. Ingalls' first 15 Aegis destroyers have been delivered to the Navy. Two additional ships now in production at Ingalls will precede DDG 89 into the fleet.

The mission of MUSTIN will be to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, providing primary protection for the Navy's aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships, and independent operations as necessary. DDG 89 will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Construction of MUSTIN (DDG 89) began on Nov. 22, 1999, and DDG 89's keel was laid on Jan. 15, 2001. When completed in 2003, MUSTIN will be homeported in San Diego as an element of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Cmdr. Ann Phillips, USN, a native of Annapolis, Md., will be the new ship's commissioning commanding officer.

MUSTIN (DDG 89) will honor the Mustin family, which has recorded a rich and honorable tradition of naval service. This tradition is marked by officers who were extraordinarily creative innovators. The Mustins' legacy to the Navy service lasted from 1896 until 1989, nearly one century of naval history.

Capt. Henry C. Mustin, U.S. Navy, (1874-1923), a 1896 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, earned a commendation for distinguished service in the capture of Vigan, Philippines, in 1899; flew the first aircraft ever catapulted from a ship; flew the first operational missions of naval aircraft during the Veracruz operation in 1914; and was the first commander of Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet.

His son, Vice Adm. Lloyd Mustin, (1911-1999), a 1932 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, took part in developing the Navy's first lead-computing anti-aircraft gun sight, which proved of major importance in the air-sea actions of World War II, and served on the cruiser USS ATLANTA (CL 51) during the naval battle of Guadalcanal. His postwar service included commands at sea and development and evaluation of weapon systems. He later served as director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The destroyer USS MUSTIN (DD 413) (1939-1946), named in Capt. Henry C. Mustin's honor, earned 13 battle stars for World War II service that included the battles of Santa Cruz and Guadalcanal and major amphibious operations in the Pacific.

Vice Adm. Mustin's two sons, retired Navy Vice Adm. Henry C. Mustin, and Lt. Cmdr. Thomas M. Mustin, have continued their family's legacy of service. Vice Adm. Mustin, a 1955 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is a decorated Vietnam veteran who served in the 1980's as the Naval Inspector General; Commander, Second Fleet and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans and Policy. Lt. Cmdr. Mustin, also a Naval Academy Graduate (1962) earned a Bronze Star during the Vietnam conflict for river patrol combat action.

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, headquartered in Pascagoula, Miss., includes the Ingalls Operations and the Ship Systems Full Service Center, both located in Pascagoula, as well as the Avondale Operations, located in New Orleans and Tallulah La., and Gulfport, Miss. The Ship Systems sector, which currently employs more than 17,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types. NGSS has a firm business backlog exceeding $5.5 billion, in a variety of naval and commercial shipbuilding programs.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is an $18 billion, global defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and nuclear and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With nearly 100,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

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