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USS John S. McCain Celebrates 233rd Navy Birthday at Sea

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Byron C. Linder, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Japan

USS John S. McCain At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) celebrated the Navy's 233rd birthday Oct. 13, taking a short break from the rigorous daily routine of life at sea.

On the ship's mess decks, McCain's youngest Sailor, Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) Fireman Elmer Paucar was joined on the mess decks by McCain's oldest Sailor, Senior Chief Information Systems Technician James Caszatt, as they cut the ceremonial birthday cake with a Navy cutlass and sword respectively.

McCain's supply department provided a celebratory birthday meal of steak, lobster, king crab legs and shrimp.

The history of the U.S. Navy dates back to 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized the procurement and fitting out of two armed vessels and the raising of two battalions of Marines. From Tunn Tavern and the Philadelphia wharves, the organization progressed such that by 1776, the Continental Navy and was ready for their first expedition.

Sailing for New Providence Island, the Navy captured the British fort and garrison, securing powder and arms for Gen. George Washington's Continental Army.

Cmdr. John S. Banigan, McCain's commanding officer, emphasized the importance of recognizing the Navy's past while ensuring the Navy's continued success in the future.

"What were tall ships protecting lands of the Continental Congress are now sleek warships globally deployed, conducting theater security operations," Banigan said. "In 1794, Congress purchased six frigates for our Navy and now, some 214 years later, we have evolved into the world's most formidable fleet. This is quite an achievement, and it is our responsibility to carry this torch as others had before us, to ensure it remains bright."

USS John S. McCain is one of seven Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and is permanently forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

Story Number: NNS081016-05 Release Date: 10/16/2008 5:03:00 AM

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