DDG 108 Wayne E. Meyer
DDG-108 has been named in honor of Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer. DDG-108 Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer is a Flight IIA variant of the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer and incorporates a helicopter hanger facility into the original design. The ship can each carry two SH-60B/R helicopters. Guided missile destroyers operate independently and in conjunction with carrier strike groups, surface action groups, expeditionary strike groups and replenishment groups.
On August 22, 2008 the USS WAYNE E. MEYER (DDG 108) received its homeport letter and will homeport in San Diego, CA. The ship is scheduled to set sail from Bath late summer 2009. The location and date for the ship's commissioning has yet to be determined, but it will most likely occur in the fall of 2009 [versus the originally planned January 2009]. Until DDG 108 is commissioned, its formal title is Pre-Commissioning Unit WAYNE E. MEYER (DDG 108). Once commissioned, the title will change to USS WAYNE E. MEYER (DDG 108). The Pre-Commissioning Unit administration support facility is located at 590 Washington Street in Bath, Maine. The term PCU, or simply "PRECOM Unit" or "Unit," also refers to the PCU support facility that houses the offices for the crews of each PCU currently under construction in Bath. For the purposes of the entire Pre-Commissioning process, think of the "PRECOM Unit" or "PCU" as the actual ship in Bath.
Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer
As of mid-2008 Rear Admiral Meyer operated a consultancy with offices in Crystal City, Virginia. He chairs and serves on numerous Panels and Committees chartered by various DOD civil and military officials. He has served on the National Ballistic Missile Defense Advisory Committee for the past seven years, serving as its Chairman for the past three years. He also gives numerous speeches besides reviewing and editing articles, essays and books. Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer, retired in 1985 as the Deputy Commander for Weapons and Combat systems, Naval Sea Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command and Ordnance Officer of the Navy.
Wayne E. Meyer was born to Eugene and Nettie Meyer (now deceased) in Brunswick, Missouri, on 21 April 1926. His first four years of school were in Warden District School (eight grades in one room with a wood stove) under Helen Duncan. His father and family were livestock and grain farmers, plowing the land referred to by locals as the "gumbo". Meyer's father Eugene was displaced in the drought and the Great Depression and lost everything in 1935. He and his family of four children moved eleven miles into clay country five miles North of Brunswick. Wayne and siblings were enrolled in St. Boniface Catholic School, a 2-room schoolhouse. Sister Mary Joann was his teacher for the next four years with grades five through eight combined in one room. Enrolled in the 140-pupil Brunswick High School in 1939, his primary teacher (and principal) was Miss Edith Marston. Under her tutelage, he and three other boys had been prepared by her to take a three day Armed Services competitive exam in January 1943, which all passed. In April they were called to Kansas City to examine their physical fitness for enlistment in a competitive college program created by President Roosevelt, called the V-12 in the Navy. Meyer passed the exam. Rear Admiral Meyer, a native of Brunswick, Missouri, graduated from the University of Kansas in 1946 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Astronautics and Aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
His career began in 1943 as an apprentice seaman. He was commissioned Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve, in 1946 and was transferred to Regular Navy in 1948. After several years at sea, he returned to school in 1951 and attended the Joint Guided Missile School in Fort Bliss, Texas, the Naval Line School in Monterey, California, eventually serving as an instructor at the Special (atomic) Weapons School, Norfolk, Virginia. He returned to sea as Executive Officer in STRICKLAND (DER 333), followed by service on the Staff, Commander, Destroyer Force, Atlantic. He was then ordered to the TALOS cruiser GALVESTON (CLG 3) and from there to the Secretary of the Navy's Special Task Force for Surface Missile Systems in Washington, D.C. He transferred to the Naval Ordnance Engineering Corps in 1966.
In 1967, he reported as Director of Engineering at the Naval Ship Missile Systems Engineering Station, Port Hueneme, California and three years later to the Naval Ordnance Systems Command, as Manager, AEGIS Weapons System. He was named Project Manager for Surface Missile Systems in 1972 and in July 1974, he was named the first Director of Surface Warfare, Naval Sea Systems Command. He was selected for Admiral in January 1975. In July 1975, he assumed duties as the founding Project Manager, AEGIS Shipbuilding. In September 1983, he was reassigned as Deputy Commander, Weapons and Combat Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command.
The Navy received the 100th Aegis weapon system from Lockheed Martin, 27 November 2006, and announced it would be installed into a guided-missile destroyer named in honor of the man recognized as the 'Father of Aegis,' retired Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer. The centenial Aegis system that will be installed in the furture USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) came more than 20 years after the first system was delivered to the Navy in 1983 and, according to Lockheed Martin, has eight-times more computing power and costs 66 percent less than the first Aegis baseline. Aegis is widely considered to be the Navy's most successful air defense weapon system and multi-mission combat system in history.
Rear Adm. Meyer was on hand for the ceremony. Remembering something Adm. Arleigh Burke said in the 1950s about integrity, Meyer said he hopes the ship named in his honor, and the Sailors who will sail on her decks, will embody integrity. "I've tried to lead that way, I've tried to be that way, I've tried to raise my kids that way," Meyer said. "And I'm hoping that the Wayne E. Meyer has the capacity also to recognize it."
"Adm. Meyer reminds us that a ship has a name for a reason. Indeed the namesake of a warship inspires the crew and instills a fighting spirit. To have one's name immortalized in an Aegis warship is a high honor indeed," said Adm. Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations. "And that is why DDG 108 will forever be known as United States Ship Wayne E. Meyer."
Meyer recognized the fact that the 100th Aegis system, a program he began, will be part of the warship named for him. "The only honor greater than being allowed to find, create and lead the greatest engineering production team the Navy has ever had in our dimension is to know your name will be long associated with the wonderful Sailors, the men and women, who crew and fight the product of that team," Meyer said.
Mullen praised Meyer's decades of effort on the 'shield of the fleet,' as Sailors have come to call Aegis. "It is clear that Adm. Meyer's principals of 'build a little, test a little' innovation and sound system engineering are the model we must continue to follow. It is a model which is reflected soundly in the 100th system today," Mullen said. "Every Aegis system needs a home, as well, and this centennial system is no exception."
According to Mullen, the Aegis system aligns with the U.S. and allied nations' goals to build an international "1,000 ship Navy." Variations of the Aegis baseline system are already in the hulls of Japanese, South Korean, and Spanish ships at sea. Mullen credits the ability to achieve the thousand ship Navy partially to the Aegis system. "To do that we must be able to talk to each other, and it is open systems that will enable us to work together as one," he told the hundreds in attendance.
To close the ceremony, Meyer, along with Lockheed Martin and Navy officials, ceremoniously 'pulled the plug' on the surface-to-air defense system. Pulling the plug acknowledged Lockheed Martin's final step in delivering the system to the Navy.
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