PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- The
construction of the future USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) is currently underway
at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard. A ceremony here today celebrated
the start of fabrication.
The future USS Delbert D.
Black honors the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON). Black, a
30-year veteran, rose from the ranks of Master Chief Gunner to Senior Advisor
of the Navy; the title later changed to MCPON. The MCPON is an advocate and
voice of all sailors and their families, serving as the senior enlisted advisor
to the Chief of Naval Operations.
“I am excited to see DDG 119
production starting off strong,” said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program
manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “This ship will not only honor a
great Navy leader, it will serve as a testament to all our current and future
senior enlisted leaders of the value the Navy places on their service. My team
was greatly honored to have Mrs. Black present at the Start of Fabrication and
looks forward to her enthusiasm guiding us during the ship’s construction.”
This ship will be equipped
with the Navy's Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost integrated naval
weapon system. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and
increased electronic countermeasures capability for Anti-Air Warfare. The ship
is part of the Navy’s latest flight of destroyers, Flight IIA, which enables
power projection, forward presence, and escort operations at sea in support of
Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare as well as open
DDG 119 is the third ship in
the FY2013-FY2017 multi-year procurement contract to start fabrication. The
future USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) has already begun fabrication at HII. Daniel
Inouye (DDG 118) is currently in production at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
As one of the Defense
Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for
executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships,
special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality
war fighting assets - while balancing affordability and capability - is key to
supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy.