U.S. Navy Commissions Its Newest Destroyer USS Delbert D. Black

U.S. Navy Commissions Its Newest Destroyer USS Delbert D. Black

Delbert D. Black DDG119 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Port Canaveral, Florida.

Due to public health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning ceremony was a private event, rather than the traditional public commissioning ceremony.

USS Delbert D. Black is named for the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, the highest possible enlisted rank and the enlisted representative to the Chief of Naval Operations. Established by the Navy in 1967, Black oversaw the establishment of the senior enlisted advisor position, which eventually became known as Command Master Chief. Black was the first Navy enlisted man to receive the Distinguished Service Medal. Upon retirement from active duty, Black continued his involvement with the Navy through retired and active duty organizations. He still serves as an enduring example for the Chief’s Mess, with his service, character and performance demonstrating the highest ideals of a Navy chief petty officer in the world’s finest Navy.

Mrs. Ima Black, MCPON Delbert D. Black’s widow and a former sailor, served as the ship’s sponsor. Mrs. Black served during World War II in the Navy WAVES – Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. During the time-honored ceremony, Mrs. Black gave the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life.”

The ceremony’s principal speaker was Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russel L. Smith.

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Delbert D. Black is the 68th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to be delivered to the Navy and the first to bear his name.

USS Delbert D. Black is homeported in Mayport, Florida, with sister ships USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) and USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117).

Delbert D. Black (DDG 119)

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) is configured as a Flight IIA destroyer and will be the fourth of ten Flight IIA “technology insertion” (Flight IIA TI) ships, which will contain elements of the Flight III ships which begins with DDG-125.

The destroyer was launched at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard on Sept. 8, 2017, and was christened on Nov. 4 that year. She completed her builder’s trials on Feb. 22 this year and the acceptance trials on March 12. The Navy accepted delivery of the destroyer on April 24.

The nearly 9,500-ton Delbert D. Black is 509.5 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.

DDG 119 was constructed with the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which incorporates Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities, such as increased computing power and radar upgrades, that improve detection and reaction against modern air warfare and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) threats.

As a Flight IIA destroyer, Delbert D. Black 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 ocean conflict. When operational, DDG 119 and her sister ships will serve as integral assets in global maritime security.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States military strategy. Guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles.

Ingalls has delivered 32 destroyers to the Navy and currently has four more under construction including Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) and Ted Stevens (DDG 128). In June, Ingalls was awarded a $936 million contract for the construction of an additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

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