KEY WEST, Fla
. - USS Spruance (DDG 111) arrived at Naval Air Station Key West Friday, Sept. 23 in preparation for its formal commissioning ceremony to be held Oct. 1.
The ship was greeted by Key West Mayor Craig Cates, Capt. Patrick A. Lefere, commanding officer of NAS Key West and John Dolan-Heitlinger, Spruance commissioning committee chairman as it docked at NAS Key West's Outer Mole Pier on base.
“Key West has a long maritime history and a long and proud history with the U.S. Navy,” said Cates. “We are very proud that the Navy has chosen Key West to commission it newest warship, the USS Spruance.”
The ship, named in honor of Adm. Raymond Spruance, commander of Carrier Task Force 16 during the World War II Battle of Midway, is commanded by Cmdr. Tate Westbrook of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
"Ever since we knew the ship was to be commissioned in Key West, the city has come out in full force, including local businesses, to really welcome our crew," Westbrook said. "In my 18-plus years of doing this, I have not seen a better or greater response to a ship. We are looking forward to exploring the entire island."
The second Navy ship to bear the name and the 61st ship in the Arleigh Burke class of Navy destroyers, Spruance is a multi-mission ship that carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, a 5-inch gun, sonar systems and two helicopters. It is powered by four gas-turbine engines and is capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Spruance will be open for public tours Saturday, Sept. 24, from 1 - 4 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 30, from 1 - 4 p.m.
While in Key West, the crew of 283 is planning to participate in various community relations projects as they prepare for Saturday’s ceremony.
Following commissioning, Spruance will sail to its initial homeport of San Diego, Calif.
For more information on USS Spruance: http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg111/