DD 968 Arthur W Radford
"Patriotism, Perseverance, and Preparedness"
The Norfolk-based Spruance-class destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford (DD 968) decommissioned on March 18, 2003 at Naval Station Norfolk. The ship will now serve as the test platform for the U.S. Navy's future destroyer, DD(X).
This will not be the first time Radford has been used as a test platform. The ship used the newest and most robust cryptologic system during its last deployment. Although many ships now use this new cryptology system, Radford was the first to deploy with it.
Radford also introduced the Advanced Enclosed Mast System (AEM/S) to the Fleet in 1998. The ship's unique, enclosed superstructure, which literally stands out among the masts of other ships, protects major antennas and other sensitive equipment. It also reduces maintenance and significantly reduces radar signature.
The ship will now be towed to Philadelphia where the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Inactive Ships Maintenance Office (NISMO) will oversee its inactivation. Eventually, the ship will be towed to Pascagoula, Miss. where Northrop Grumman Ship Systems will equip it with three DD(X) Engineering Development Models, including the Integrated Power System (IPS), the Composite Deckhouse, and the Dual Band Radar. The IPS will allow rapid reconfiguration of power, reduced acoustic noise, and greater flexibility in ship design, according to David Caskey, a NAVSEA spokesperson.
The conversion, scheduled to begin in the fall of 2004, will take approximately one year.
Once Radford is converted, at-sea testing will begin in the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia Capes Operating Areas, including Lambert's Point Range in Norfolk, and Wallops Island Range near the eastern Virginia shore. The Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center Range in the Bahamas will also be used for the ship's testing.
The ship's crest is highly symbolic of the ship's namesake, Admiral Arthur W. Radford, and his uncompromising devotion to the defense of our country.
The gold wings represent Admiral Radford's own wings which he earned in 1920. Together with the ship's bow these wings allude to his command of Carrier Divisions 11 and 6, Pacific, during World War II. The four white stars symbolize is promotion to Admiral, while the Red Torii represents his involvement in both World War II and the Korean War.
Three divisions of the shield itself refer to the three components of the armed forces; Air, Sea, and Land, which each form a portion of our nation's protective shield. The four unsheathed swords on the Defense Blue background symbolize his appointment to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his re-appointment to this position for a second term.
Admiral Radford's career was dominated by three traits which are displayed on the Navy Blue banner beneath the shield: Patriotism, Perseverance, and Preparedness. Today these qualities serve as the guiding motto for USS Arthur W. Radford's crew.
Admiral Arthur W. Radford
Admiral Radford served in three wars. He was onboard the USS SOUTH CAROLINA, a battleship in the Atlantic Fleet, and was Aide and First Lieutenant to commander, Battleship Division ONE during World War One. He served in the Navy Department's Bureau of Aeronautics and Naval Personnel and in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations early in World War II; and as Commander, Carrier Divisions 11 and 6, and on the Staff of Commander, Aircraft Pacific, during the after part of that war. At the outbreak of Korean hostilities, he was serving as commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet, later being given the responsibility of the Marianas Bonin area and the Philippines Formosa area.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in February 1896, he entered the Naval Academy in 1912 after graduating from High School in Grinnel, Iowa. He graduated and was commissioned in 1916 and assigned to USS SOUTH CAROLINA. From the end of World War One until 1920 he served staff duty. In April 1920 he was assigned to flight training school and was designated a Naval Aviator in November of that year. Follow on assignments included the newly established Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, as well as the aviation units of the tender AROOSTOCK, and the battleships COLORADO and PENNSYLVANIA. In December 1945, he became Deputy Commander of Naval Operations (Air) and after a year in command of SECOND TASK FLEET, he returned to the Navy department as Vice Chief of Naval Operations. In June 1953 he was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired on 1 August 1957.
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