SAN DIEGO (NNS -10/25/2011) -- USS Spruance (DDG 111), the
newest destroyer to join the Navy's Pacific Fleet, arrived
in its homeport of San Diego for the first time Oct. 24.
Oct. 24, 2011 -
Family and friends greet Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) as the ship arrives at its new homeport at Naval Base San Diego. Spruance is the Navy's newest destroyer, commissioned Oct. 1,
2011 in Key West, Fla. U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass
Communication Specialist Joe Kane
"The majority of Spruance's crew has been preparing for this
day for over two years," said Cmdr. Tate Westbrook,
commanding officer, Spruance. "Bringing a new Navy Destroyer
to life with a new crew is the most challenging 'start-up'
project imaginable in any profession. This superb crew has
set the processes in place for running this ship
successfully that have already earned Spruance numerous
'best-ever' accolades, and will last for years to come."
"Many of these Sailors return home today after being
separated from their families in San Diego for eight
months," he added. "We are all thrilled to finally get to
our home port, San Diego."
Crew members had their own
reasons to look forward to their arrival in San Diego.
"I feel really excited to get back," said Operations
Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brian Terrell of Homer, Neb.
"I've been wanting to see any new movies that have come out,
and I'll also be able to see my brother, who just got back
from deployment for the Marines."
Specialist Seaman Apprentice Nicholas Woods of Macungie, Pa.
has some specific plans for his arrival.
"All I can
say is it feels refreshing," he said. "Sure this was my
first time out, and I really enjoyed it. But everyone is
always happy to finally be back home, even if they had a
good time. Plus, I'm getting married to the love of my life,
and I wouldn't want to wait any longer to see her and make
As the pre-commissioning crew, the
Sailors now stationed on the Spruance were able to
experience the "birth" of their ship.
"I am very
thankful to have been able to meet and work next to the men
[and women] who put all of the time, effort, and talent into
to building something with such detail and size," said Sonar
Technician 3rd Class Amanda Smith of Malta, Ohio.
"The best memory of the process for me was not the first
sight of my new ship, but the long walk from the
pre-commission detachment through the snow, and the
anticipation of the first sight," said Sonar Technician 2nd
Class Christopher Bolton of Walker, La.
commissioned at Naval Air Station Key West, Oct. 1. It is
the 61st ship in the Arleigh Burke-class of Navy destroyers,
and the second Navy ship to bear the name. Spruance is named
in honor of Adm. Raymond Spruance who commanded Carrier Task
Force 16 during the pivotal Battle of Midway in World War
Spruance is a multi-mission ship with a crew of
285 Sailors that carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, a 5-inch
gun, sonar systems and two helicopters. Spruance is powered
by four gas-turbine engines and is capable of speeds in
excess of 30 knots.
Spruance, assigned to Destroyer
Squadron 23, will help provide deterrence, promote peace and
security, preserve freedom of the sea and
humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million
square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific,
as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when
More associated images in frame below
By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
Navy News Service
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