U.S. Navy shipbuilder commission guided-missile destroyer named after first Black Marine Corp officer, aviator

U.S. Navy shipbuilder commission guided-missile destroyer named after first Black Marine Corp officer, aviator

BCN Staff – April 24, 2022 – The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Frank E. Petersen Jr., named after the first Black aviator and general officer in the Marine Corps recently departed from HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division on April 13. The Navy next-generation will be commissioned next month in Charleston, S.C., before sailing to its homeport at Hawaii’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“I’m very grateful for the resilient and dedicated shipbuilders on our team, each is world class,” said Kari Wilkinson, president of the Ingalls Shipbuilding.

“Watching Frank E. Petersen Jr. sail away demonstrates what this shipyard is capable of, even in the face of a pandemic,” said Donny Dorsey, Ingalls vice president of operations and previously DDG 121 ship program manager. “The Ingalls Shipbuilding team, and all those that contribute to the mission, are the best. Despite challenges, the hard work of the entire shipbuilding team enable this very proud day — watching the Navy sail this ship and join the fleet to support the defense of our nation.”

Frank E. Petersen Jr. is the 33rd destroyer Ingalls has built for the U.S. Navy, with five more currently under construction at Ingalls, including Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), Ted Stevens (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) and George M. Neal (DDG 131). Ingalls is working with the Navy to keep the destroyer line strong as the Navy transitions to the next generation of guided missile destroyers.

Born March 2, 1932, in Topeka, Kan., Petersen was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1952 after serving two years in the U.S. Navy. Petersen served during the Korean War in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. After entering the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in 1950, Petersen went on to fly more than 350 combat missions during the Korean and Vietnam wars and more than 4,000 hours in various military aircraft. Lt. Gen. Petersen was also the first African-American Marine Corps officer to be promoted to brigadier general. He died Aug. 25, 2015.

Born March 2, 1932, in Topeka, Kansas, Petersen was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1952 after serving two years in the U.S. Navy. Petersen served during the Korean War in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. During his career, Petersen flew more than 350 combat missions and more than 4,000 hours in various military aircraft.

Tiger’s Jaw

The ship’s motto, “Into the Tiger’s Jaw,” is a phrase used by Lt. General Petersen many times in his life and conveys the unbridled spirit confronting and overcoming social injustices and prejudices as well as courage and bravery in combat. It also served as the title of Petersen’s autobiography.

Cmdr. Daniel Hancock, a 2002 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, is the commanding officer of the ship and leads the core crew of 32 officers and 297 enlisted personnel. The ship was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding is a shipyard located in Pascagoula, Miss. It is nearly 510 feet long, has a beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 33 feet. Four General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines and two shafts power the ship, making it capable of speed in excess of 30 knots.

Sea trials for the Frank E. Petersen Jr. were conducted by Huntington Ingalls shipbuilding division in August 2021. Those tests consisted of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder to assess the ship’s systems and readiness for Acceptance Trials prior to delivery to the U.S. Navy.

“Completion of these trials gives us confidence that DDG 121 will be able to conduct successful Acceptance Trials in mid-September,” said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 program manager for the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The Navy and industry team continues to work diligently to ensure the ship is ready to operate at its peak performance and can provide capability and capacity to the fleet.”

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. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

#30#

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.