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USS Forrest Sherman Commissioned

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060128-01
Release Date: 1/28/2006 7:26:00 PM


By Sheri L. Crowe, Naval Air Station Pensacola Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, FLA (NNS) -- Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), the 48th ship in the Arleigh Burke class of Aegis guided-missile destroyers, was officially designated a United States Ship on Saturday, Jan. 28th, at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, during its commissioning ceremony. A standing room crowd of 2,500 invited guests observed the event at the air station's Allegheny Pier.

“This day represents the end of the shipbuilding process and the beginning of the next chapter for Forrest Sherman,” said the ship's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Michael G. Van Durick. “We look forward to carrying on Adm. Forrest Sherman’s 'relentless fighting spirit' in the operational U.S. Fleet.”

Florida's U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, delivered the ceremony’s principal address, remarking how fitting it was for the commissioning of a ship named in honor of the late Adm. Forrest Sherman, a naval aviator who spent training time at NAS Pensacola, to take place aboard the air station.

Miller also commented on how Hurricane Ivan (when it caused massive damage aboard NAS Pensacola on Sept. 16, 2004) didn’t prevent the base from fulfilling its training mission.

“You’ll be very happy to know that Hurricane Ivan couldn’t stop NAS Pensacola from doing what it does best and that’s producing the best naval aviators in the world,” said Miller. “The men and women on the Forrest Sherman are among the best and the brightest in our nation’s history. They need to be, because they are going to be on the front lines of the global war on terrorism.”

Miller concluded with “Go forth with the relentless fighting spirit. May God bless this ship and all that set sail.”

Sen. Bill Nelson, also of Florida, made brief remarks saying that NAS Pensacola, the cradle of naval aviation and one of the most historical and friendly Navy-minded communities, was an ideal location for the ship’s commissioning.

“Today’s ceremony also recognizes the service of one of the nation’s greatest Sailors…Admiral Forrest Sherman,” Nelson said. “His lifetime of service has touched the lives of every Sailor privileged to serve aboard this ship and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Adm. Sherman's daughter, Ann Sherman Fitzpatrick, served as sponsor of the ship and in a time-honored tradition, gave the order to “man the ship and bring her to life.”

Van Durick said how grateful he was for the generosity of the Pensacola Navy League and NAS Pensacola for hosting the ceremony and adopting the ship. He also commented on how honored he was to command Forrest Sherman, a ship that now joins the proud legacy of Adm. Sherman. “The officers and crew of the warship are ready to serve,” he said.

The ship is named after Adm. Forrest Sherman, the 12th Chief of Naval Operations, and the youngest man to serve in that position. He held the office from November 1949 until July 1951.

USS Forrest Sherman is a highly capable multi-mission ship that 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. USS Forrest Sherman will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains a variety of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Forrest Sherman was built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, MS, and was launched on October 2004.

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