NAVSEA NEWS WIRE 00-24 (October 20, 2000)

OCT20-01. Navy Commissions New Destroyer Roosevelt

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer Roosevelt (DDG 80) Saturday, Oct. 14, 2000, at the Naval Station in Mayport, Fla.

The ship honors 32nd President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962). Roosevelt served as the 12th assistant secretary of the Navy for seven years before being elected to the first of four terms as President in 1932. He guided the nation out of the Great Depression and through World War II.

The first lady was known as a tireless worker for social causes, serving twice as U.S. delegate to the United Nations. She chaired the United Nations Human Rights Commission and was entirely responsible for drafting the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. One previous U.S. Navy ship was named in the President's honor - Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV 42) (1945-1977).

U.S. Rep. Tillie K. Fowler of Florida's Fourth Congressional District, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the ceremony's principal address. Mrs. Nancy Roosevelt Ireland of Greenwich, Conn., serving as ship's sponsor, christened the ship in 1999 in honor of her grandparents. In an honored Navy tradition, Ireland gave the order to "Man our ship and bring her to life!"

Roosevelt is the 30th of 58 Arleigh Burke class destroyers currently authorized by Congress. These multi-missioned ships are equipped with the Navy's Aegis combat systems, which combine space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility while operating "Forward...From the Sea."

Cmdr. Matthew W. Bobola, a 1982 graduate of the University of Southern California, is the commanding officer of Roosevelt. With a crew of 340 officers, chiefs and enlisted personnel, the ship will be homeported in Mayport as a member of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Roosevelt was built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., and is 509.5 feet in length with a waterline beam of 66 feet. Four gas-turbine engines power the 9,204-ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.