SEAL BEACH, Calif. - USS Dewey (DDG105) was formally commissioned today in a ceremony on Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, marking the first time a warship has been commissioned in the Orange County city.
The new destroyer honors Adm. George Dewey (1837-1917) who commanded the Asiatic Station from the cruiser Olympia. Shortly after the onset of the Spanish-American War, Dewey led his squadron of warships into Manila Bay on April 30, 1898. The next morning, his squadron destroyed the Spanish fleet in only two hours without a single American loss. A widely popular hero of his day, Dewey was commissioned admiral of the Navy in March 1903. Two previous ships have proudly carried his name.
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the event's principal speaker, addressed the new ship's crew and called on them to provide leadership and dedication to each other and the mission.
"Let you be guided by that sense of duty which knows not the timidity of those who stay silent when they see something wrong," Mullen said. "And let you be inspired by the strength and the fortitude of your families whose high expectations of your conduct are—or should be—exceeded only by those you hold for yourselves." Dewey is the 55th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The ship will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management, to sea control and power projection. Dewey will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower," which postures the sea services to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.
Mrs. Deborah Mullen, the ship's sponsor, culminated the ceremony with the traditional order to "Man our ship and bring her to life!" emphasizing that the ship is truly alive with the Sailors that are serving now and will serve on Dewey in the future.
Cmdr. Warren Buller, of Concord, Mass., is the first commanding officer of the ship and leads the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. He was proud to see this day come, marking the beginning of the ship's life and pointed to the ship's flag flying from the yardarm with the echoing Adm. Dewey's exhortation "Fight" in Navy blue on a field of gold above four white stars.
"Our command's philosophy; fight the ship, fight for your people and know why you fight for the country," Buller said. "We are ready to join the fleet, we are ready to fight."
The 9,200-ton Dewey was built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Dewey, her crew and their families will call San Diego home after commissioning.
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