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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

  No. 1210-06
IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 29, 2006

Navy Names New Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer


The Department of the Navy has announced the naming of the Navy's newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Wayne E. Meyer. The name honors retired Navy Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer, who managed the development of the Aegis AN/SPY-1 radar system. This system serves as the cornerstone of the Aegis combat system installed in Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers and Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers.

Wayne E. Meyer was born in Brunswick, Mo., on April 21, 1926. In 1946 he graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelors in electrical engineering. He also holds a masters in astronautics and aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelors in electrical engineering from Naval Postgraduate School.

Meyer’s career began in 1943 as an apprentice seaman. In 1946 he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve 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, Fort Bliss, Texas, and the Naval Line School, Monterey, Calif., and eventually served as an instructor at Special Weapons School, Norfolk, Va.

Meyer returned to sea as executive officer on the USS Strickland, followed by service on the staff of commander, Destroyer Force Atlantic. He was then ordered to the USS Galveston.

In 1963, Secretary of the Navy Fred Korth chose Meyer to lead a special task force for surface guided missiles. Meyer turned down a destroyer command to continue his work with missile, radar, and fire control systems. His experience laid the groundwork for the success of a prototype Aegis radar weapons control system in 1974. He later became director of Surface Warfare at Naval Sea Systems Command where he guided the development of the Aegis system.

Meyer was promoted to rear admiral in January 1975 and assumed duties as the founding project manager, Aegis shipbuilding in July 1975. In September 1983, he was reassigned as deputy commander, weapons and combat systems, Naval Sea Systems Command.

The future USS Wayne E. Meyer will utilize the same combat system that Meyer helped to develop, the Aegis combat system and the SPY-lD, multifunction phased array radar. This advance radar weapons control system, in conjunction with, the vertical launching system, an advanced anti-submarine warfare system, anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk weapons capabilities continues the revolution at sea.

Additionally, the ship will be manned with a complement of highly trained sailors providing the Navy with a dynamic multi-mission platform that can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups, ensuring the USS Wayne E. Meyer will lead the Navy into the future.

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