SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) arrived at its homeport of San Diego Dec. 7, successfully completing her sail around from Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine to California, the home state of her namesake – Medal of Honor recipient, Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor.
With underway testing complete, the ship now looks forward to commissioning and officially joining the fleet.
“In his cover that is the centerpiece of the ship’s Quarterdeck, Michael wrote the phrase ‘You Never Quit.’ Each Sailor embraced and embodied that sense of determination,” said Capt. Scott Smith, Michael Monsoor’s commanding officer. “This crew worked tirelessly over a span of the entire year, preparing the ship for its maiden voyage and completing all certifications and assessments the first time around. With that training as a foundation, they focused on safely bringing this revolutionary warship down the east coast, through the Panama Canal, and to its homeport. Today, Michael is where he belongs – in southern California.”
Arriving on the anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor was fitting for Michael Monsoor, a ship built for the next generation, but keenly aware of the nation’s naval history of generations past. The mast stepping box for DDG 1001, usually a feature built into new ships and rarely seen again until decommissioning, was instead made a prominent feature of the ship’s bridge: a work of art to be seen daily by the crew and visitors to the ship. Michael Monsoor’s Mast Box is constructed of oak from the hull of USS Constitution, the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship, and the pins that hold the cover in place are made of teak from the restoration of the deck of USS Missouri (BB 63), site of the signing of the terms of surrender, marking the end of the war America was drawn into 77 years ago.
The second ship in the Zumwalt class of guided-missile destroyers, Michael Monsoor was built with an array of sophisticated capabilities, as the U.S. Navy continues to increase capacity in an age of great power competition around the world. Michael Monsoor features advanced technologies in propulsion, weapons, computing, and sensors throughout the ship, readying itself to become a valuable part of the Navy the nation needs upon commissioning.
The ship utilizes an Integrated Power System (IPS), providing power to propulsion, ship’s service, and combat system loads from the same gas turbine prime movers. Its power allocation flexibility allows for potentially significant energy savings and is well-suited to enable future high energy weapons and sensors. Zumwalt-class ships generate approximately 78 megawatts of power – nearly what nuclear-powered aircraft carriers generate.
Zumwalt-class destroyers incorporate multiple features designed to make the ships less visible to radars, including a wave-piercing tumblehome design, improved antennae arrangement and minimal acoustic output for low detectability, maintaining stealth and providing an edge in combat.
The ship is named after Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, a native of Long Beach, Calif. Monsoor and two fellow members of SEAL Team 3 manned a rooftop sniper position in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, as a joint U.S./Iraqi force cleared sections of the city. The day was Sep. 29, 2006, and the city was at the time in the midst of some of the worst sectarian fighting since Operation Iraqi Freedom launched three years earlier.
An enemy fighter, alerted to the SEAL team’s position, threw a grenade onto the roof. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest then landed at his feet, putting his SEAL teammates and eight Iraqi Army soldiers in mortal danger. With no thought for his personal safety, Monsoor dove onto the grenade, absorbing the blast with his torso and saving the lives of his comrades at the expense of his own. Monsoor was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously by President George W. Bush in a White House ceremony Apr. 8, 2008, the first SEAL to earn the distinction during the war in Iraq.
Prior to arriving at Naval Base San Diego, the future USS Michael Monsoor made stops in Mayport, Fla., Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Cartagena, Colombia, and Panama City, Panama, where they hosted a reception for the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela.
The ship and crew arrived nearly two years to the day after USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), which reached San Diego on Dec. 8, 2016. The third ship in the Zumwalt-class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), is currently still under construction at BIW, and was launched into the Kennebec River the same week.
Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Michael Monsoor’s commissioning ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2019 in Coronado, Calif.
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