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Newest Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Halsey Enters the Fleet

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050802-01
Release Date: 8/2/2005 7:08:00 AM

By Journalist Seaman Joseph Caballero, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) July 30 in a ceremony at Pier J, Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, Calif.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, former naval officer, was the key speaker for the event. In his speech, he paid special tribute to his grandfather Adm. John McCain and Fleet Adm. William F. “Bull” Halsey.

“My family owes a great debt of gratitude to Adm. Halsey, who personally ordered my grandfather be present on the deck of the USS Missouri when the Japanese formally surrendered,” said Sen. McCain. “For almost 230 years, the Navy has given us many heroes. No name is more deserving of this honor than Adm. Halsey’s. I am confident the crew of this destroyer is worthy of its namesake.”

According to Operations Specialist 3rd Class Justin Franck, the ship’s surface warfare supervisor, having the name Halsey means they’re expected to be faster and more prepared than any other ship.

“We’re going through more training a whole lot faster,” said Franck. “We’re also going on deployment next summer, and no one’s ever done it that fast before.”

Halsey’s distinguished career started when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1904. During World War I, Halsey was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions while in command of convoy escort vessels. In 1935 and at the age of 52, he earned his Naval Aviator Wings. In World War II, Halsey, then a vice admiral, led the first counter-strikes against the Japanese. He later assumed command of the U.S. 3rd Fleet in 1944 and led his task forces to victories over the Japanese during conflicts in the South Pacific. William Halsey, nicknamed “Bull” by the press, became the last officer to earn the rank of Fleet Admiral and is also known for his battle cry: “Hit hard! Hit Fast! Hit often!”

“Visionary! Inspirational! Determined! The very name Halsey embodies these attributes,” said Vice Adm. Terrance T. Etnyre, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “This legendary naval officer personifies all of the qualities of a great leader. It is a fitting name for a United States warship.”

The ship was “brought to life” by Halsey’s granddaughters Anne Halsey Smith and Heidi Cooke-Halsey and Halsey’s great granddaughter Margaret Halsey Talbot. Margaret Halsey Talbot stood in the place of co-sponsor Alice Spruance Talbot, who was unable to attend.

Other speakers at the event included the Honorable Dionel M. Aviles, Under Secretary of the Navy; Vice Adm. Barry M. Costello, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet; Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, deputy, Surface Ships; Rear Adm. Charles S. Hamilton, program executive officer for ships; and Philip A. Teel, president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems.

“Adm. Halsey set the standard for the Navy of the 20th century, so it is only appropriate that USS Halsey set the standard for the Navy of the 21st century,” said Lt. j.g. Darvin Robinson, Halsey’s systems test officer. “Halsey is the link to what the Navy is going to, so we have to be the benchmark for the fleet.”

The Northrop Grumman-built USS Halsey is the second destroyer to be named after Fleet Adm. William F. Halsey Jr.

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