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USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)

USS ARLEIGH BURKE is the lead ship of the ARLEIGH BURKE class of guided missile destroyers and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. USS ARLEIGH BURKE was the first US Navy ship designed to incorporate shaping techniques to reduce radar cross-section to reduce their detectability and likelihood of being targeted by enemy weapons and sensors. Originally designed to defend against Soviet aircraft, cruise missiles, and nuclear attack submarines, this higher capability ship is to be used in high-threat areas to conduct antiair, antisubmarine, antisurface, and strike operations.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: December 6, 1988
Launched: September 16, 1989
Commissioned: July 4, 1991
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
Propellers: two
Blades on each Propeller: five
Length: 505,25 feet (154 meters)
Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)
Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)
Displacement: approx. 8.300 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Aircraft: None. But LAMPS 3 electronics installed on landing deck for coordinated DDG/helicopter ASW operations.
Armament: two MK 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk; Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Phalanx CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)
Homeport: Norfolk, Va.
Crew: 23 Officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers and 291 Enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS ARLEIGH BURKE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

The Shield:

The Shield outlined in blue and gold stands for the outstanding achievements in battle of Admiral Burke against the naval power of Japan, a formidable foe. The fist and mace symbolize the offensive and defensive power of the new destroyer. The mace, also a symbol of authority, represents Admiral Burke's outstanding service as Chief of Naval Operations. It also refers to Admiral Marc Mitscher, an influential figure and mentor for whom Admiral Burke served as Chief of Staff. Admiral Burke's Destroyer Squadron 23, represented by the border of 23 ovals, was the only United States Destroyer Squadron awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, signified by the canton of blue, yellow, and red. The ovals also refer to the year 1923 in which Midshipman Burke was graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Twenty-three also reflects Admiral Burke's distinguished service on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as(OP-23).

The Crest:

The mounted figure of St. George recalls Admiral Burke's celebrated victory in the Battle of Cape St. George over Japanese naval forces. His mantle bears a gold cross for the Navy Cross awarded to the Admiral. The birch branch on the helmet represents Admiral Burke himself, a reference to his name derived from his Scandinavian heritage.

The red sea dragon symbolizes Japanese naval power assaulted by forces under Captain Burke's command. It is gorged with the two gold stars he was awarded for outstanding service. The lance impaling the dragon signifies ordnance on target. The capabilities of the new destroyer, the most powerful and survivable ever built, are signified by the full armor and equipment of the warrior St. George. The Admiral's nickname "31-Knot Burke" is recalled by the number 31 on the horses'.

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Short History of USS ARLEIGH BURKE:

The USS ARLEIGH BURKE is the first ship of the AEGIS destroyer class, it was commissioned on the Fourth of July, 1991. This ship was designed to take advantage of evolving technology while reducing ship construction costs. The AEGIS cruiser was too expensive to continue building and too difficult to backfit with new technologies.

Even before the ARLEIGH BURKE destroyer was completely built, Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force was involved in the initial phases of testing. New systems, operated by fleet sailors ashore, were examined at land-based test facilities. The combat system test took place at the Combat System Engineering Development Site in Moorestown, New Jersey. The propulsion plant test occurred at the Gas Turbine Ship Land-Based Engineering Site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These test results supported the acquisition decision to begin limited production of the ship class.

After commissioning, USS ARLEIGH BURKE hosted follow-on at-sea operational testing throughout 1992. This test revealed engineering problems that required resolution by the design and production groups. An additional phase of testing was added to retest the engineering solutions to those problems.

In April 2001, USS ARLEIGH BURKE was attached to the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN Battle Group, deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch, it returned to Norfolk, Va., in late May.

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The photo below was taken by Karl-Heinz Ahles while USS ARLEIGH BURKE was inport Norfolk, Va, on May 11, 1999.

The photos below were taken by me and show the USS ARLEIGH BURKE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va, on November 9, 2008.

The photos below were taken by me and show the USS ARLEIGH BURKE dry-docked at the BAE Shipyard at Norfolk, Va., on October 28, 2010.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USS ARLEIGH BURKE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on October 23, 2014. The ship returned from an eight-month deployment to the 6th and 5th areas of operation on October 17, 2014, and is still wearing the homecoming garland on the bow.

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