PASCAGOULA, Miss., Nov. 30, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- (WITH PHOTO) 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 (NYSE: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.
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, La., Tallulah, La., and Gulfport, Miss. Ship Systems, 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. The Ship Systems sector 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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PHOTO NOTE: This photo is available from Wieck Photo Database (972/392-0888) at http://media.wieck.com/public.html?WIK2001112972316 , or at PrimeZone's Website, www.primezone.com . CAPTION: DDG 84 UNDERWAY -- The 15th Aegis guided missile destroyer built for The U.S. Navy by Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ingalls Operations in Pascagoula, Miss., USS BULKELEY (DDG 84), will be commissioned in New York, New York, on Dec. 8, 2001. USS BULKELEY was delivered to the Navy by Ingalls on Aug. 20, 2001, and departed Pascagoula on Nov. 5, 2001.
CONTACT: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Jim McIngvale (228) 935-3971