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Navy's Newest Aegis Destroyer To Be Commissioned

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS041207-04
Release Date: 12/7/2004 11:13:00 AM

From Naval Weapons Station Charleston Public Affairs

NAVAL WEAPONS STATION CHARLESTON (NNS) -- Naval Weapons Station's Wharf Alpha will be the site of the commissioning of the U.S. Navy's newest Aegis guided-missile destroyer, James E. Williams, honoring one of the country's most decorated Sailors, Dec. 11.

The new ship, designated DDG 95, will be officially commissioned USS James E. Williams to honor Darlington native Boatswain's Mate 1st Class James Elliot Williams (1930-1999). He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery and leadership in 1966 while serving as patrol commander of River Patrol Boat 105 on the Mekong River during the Vietnam war.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Elaine Weaver Williams, widow of the ship's namesake, will serve as ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition of commissioning U.S. naval ships, Williams will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

James E. Williams is the 45th ship of 62 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently authorized by Congress and the 21st Aegis destroyer of 28 ships under contract to Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems. Construction of James E. Williams began July 30, 2001, and DDG 95's keel was laid July 15, 2002.

This highly capable multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management, to sea control and power projection, in support of the national military strategy. James E. Williams will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

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