The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke-class Guided-Missile Destroyer, USS Nitze (DDG 94)
, during a 1 p.m. EST ceremony March 5 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. John F. Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Elisabeth Scott "Leezee" Porter, the widow of Paul H. Nitze, is the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Porter will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!" The destroyer honors Paul H. Nitze, Secretary of the Navy from 1963 to 1967. Nitze raised the level of attention given to quality of service issues, including establishing the first personnel policy board and retention task force, obtaining targeted personnel bonuses, and raising command responsibility pay. Nitze was also a strong advocate for advanced education opportunities for officers and worked to enhance cooperation of senior Navy staff. Nitze graduated from Harvard University in 1928. After working in investment banking, he entered government service in 1941. From 1944 to 1946, Nitze served as director and then vice chairman of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey and was awarded the Medal of Merit by President Harry S Truman. Nitze's 40-year commitment to government service spanned various roles, including assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs; deputy secretary of defense, U.S. delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT); assistant secretary of defense for international affairs; chief negotiator for the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and special advisor to the president and secretary of state on arms control. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan awarded Nitze the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to the freedom and security of the United States. Nitze is the 44th ship in the Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers. This highly capable multimission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. Nitze will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century. Cmdr. Michael Hegarty of Oklahoma is Nitze's first commanding officer, leading a crew of about 32 officers and 348 Sailors. Built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, the 9,200-ton Nitze is 511 feet in length, has an overall beam of 66 feet and a navigational draft of 33 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots. USS Nitze (DDG 94) In drydock DDG 94 - USS Nitze
Arleigh Burke Class AEGIS Destroyer for the United States Navy
Draft: 20'-8 1/4"
Displacement: 6,605 (light ship), 8,422 (full load)
Other Data: 4 geared gas turbines, 100,000 horsepower, twin screws, twin rudders, steel superstructure, 2 stacks, 1 mast. Complement of 32 officers and 351 enlisted.