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Category Archives: DDG 1000

Future USS Zumwalt Underway for Commissioning

By Capt. James A. Kirk
Commanding officer, PCU Zumwalt (DDG 1000)

With the last line taken in, PCU Zumwalt (DDG 1000) eased away from the pier and set sail from Bath, Maine, today, to join the Fleet – culminating years of effort by thousands of people. For Zumwalt’s crew, the call over the general announcing system, “Underway, shift colors” signaled the end of more than three years of training across the country in classrooms, labs and on the ship as our Navy’s next generation destroyer was being activated and tested. It marks the beginning of the ship’s life at-sea with Sailors at the helm.

BATH, Maine (Sept. 7, 2016) Facebook Live video from the Navy’s Facebook page of the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced surface ship, future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) departing Bath Iron Works to begin its 3-month journey to its new homeport in San Diego. (U.S Navy video/Released)

Since the beginning of 2013, 147 Sailors from across the U.S. and all walks of life have reported for duty to our pre-commissioning unit to train and ready themselves to take DDG-1000 to sea in service to their nation. To walk through the passageways of the mighty Zumwalt and see the diversity and richness of culture reflected in our ship’s Sailors affirms the ideal that inclusion strengthens our Navy as a warfighting force. The warfighters who serve aboard this ship are the living legacy of our namesake, Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who dedicated his life to excellence and equality.

Our crew embodies Adm. Zumwalt’s innovative spirit. Each Sailor stands ready to adapt and master our ship’s new technology and provide operational commanders a lethal and precise instrument of naval power. Their technical expertise, teamwork and toughness –forged through training and years of experience at sea –have been on display since the Navy took custody of the ship May 20, 2016. Throughout the summer, our crew smartly executed move aboard, a series of inspections and assessments across the spectrum of operations, an engineering light off assessment and crew certifications without a hitch.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 7, 2015)  The future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) is underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean.  (U.S. Navy video courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works/Released)

New construction duty is challenging. It is even more so when the ship is the first in a new class with new and advanced technologies being put to sea for the first time. Our crew has taken on every challenge and conquered. These plankowners will be a part of the ship’s legacy for as long as USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) sails. They can take pride in the fact that they began the winning tradition and paved the way for future generations to succeed.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 21, 2016) The future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) transits the Atlantic Ocean during acceptance trials with the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). (U.S. Navy/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 21, 2016) The future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) transits the Atlantic Ocean during acceptance trials with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). (U.S. Navy/Released)

As Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Force, said about our team’s resiliency during his August visit to the ship, “Shipbuilding is a tough and frustrating job, and I’m proud of how you’ve been able to not only take care of the ship, but also take care of each other.”

In departing Bath, Maine, the door closed on the first chapter of the Zumwalt’s life. After commissioning in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 15, the ship will sail to its homeport in San Diego, California. Soon after arriving, DDG-1000 will enter a post-delivery industrial availability and mission systems activation period to ready this stealth destroyer for operational testing and its maiden deployment. With all the new technology, there will undoubtedly be challenges along the way, but Zumwalt’s Sailors are exactly the right team to succeed. They are highly skilled technicians and team players who have the toughness to get the job done. I am humbled and privileged to serve alongside these men and women.

Pax Propter Vim – Peace Through Power U.S. Navy

World’s Greatest Navy Takes Ownership of the World’s Greatest Ship, DDG-1000

By Rear Adm. (select) James Downey
DDG-1000 Program Manager

Today, the U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the most technically complex and advanced warship the world has ever seen. In just a matter of minutes, with a few key signatures and a small group of Navy and industry personnel present, this first in class, state of the art warship, which is the result of over 20 years of research, planning, development, construction, test and activation – shifted hands from the Bath Iron Works shipyard to our great Navy.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 21, 2016) The future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) transits the Atlantic Ocean to conduct acceptance trials with the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of DDG 1000, the future USS Zumwalt destroyer May 20. Following a crew certification period and October commissioning ceremony in Baltimore, Zumwalt will transit to her homeport in San Diego for a Post Delivery Availability and Mission Systems Activation. DDG-1000, pictured during acceptance trials in April, is the lead ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers; next-generation multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)


BATH, Maine (Oct. 28, 2013) The Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer DDG 1000 is floated out of dry dock at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)

BATH, Maine (Oct. 28, 2013) The Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer DDG 1000 is floated out of dry dock at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released)

Though ship delivery was not accompanied by a grandiose ceremony, parade or other frills one would expect, its magnitude cannot be denied. This day represents the culmination of years of hard work and unwavering dedication by one of the most talented teams of civilian, military and industry partners. Building a first-of-class ship is no small feat, and this team faced their share of challenges in doing so. Inspiration, however, was never one of them. Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., whose name will forever be inscribed on the ship’s stern, was a man who led by inspiration. He inspired people, ideas, change and innovation, and he was a firm believer that it has always been and will always be the people that set our great Navy apart from the rest. Throughout the 20 year history of this program and its people, inspiration, innovation and purpose have always been the threads that tied the success of this program together. Today marks the culmination of more than two decades of shipbuilding milestones. In the interest of space and time, I offer the abridged version.

This program has come a long way since the preliminary concept designs of the ’90s and the engineering and modeling of the early 2000s. It wasn’t until we started fabrication in 2009 and laid the keel in 2011 that the idea of DDG-1000 started to take shape and become more of reality. With the erection of the deckhouse in 2012 and the arrival of the first crew members in 2013, this ship started to feel more like a warship than a hull. The last year has been punctuated by program highlights as DDG-1000 prepared for delivery and construction progressed across the other two hulls. Personally, I will never forget the first day Zumwalt got underway – December 7, 2015. The pride (and relief) was overwhelming. We completed two more sets of sea trials in March and April of 2016, ensuring the readiness and quality of the ship we received today.

I’ve learned many valuable lessons throughout my 2,117 days responsible for this program.

  1. First and foremost, distance is nothing. Though Bath, Maine, and DC are more than 500 miles apart, the turning of a bolt on the ship moves the gears in the Pentagon and in Congress.
  2. Much of the success of this program is based on taking calculated risk and owning that risk. After Adm. Zumwalt assumed his role as CNO, he told his staff, “My basic philosophy is, if a proposed change is in doubt, make it and see what happens. It is easy to get a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t do something…change it and see how loud the screams are.”
  3. As practiced by this ship’s namesake, value your people. Technology and capability change by the minute. What doesn’t change is the drive and the dedication of the people you are leading. They are your greatest investment.

As I reflect on this program’s past, present and future, I can tell you what you already know…that shipbuilding is hard. That building DDG-1000 was very hard. But the greatest rewards don’t usually come easily, and those of you building ships that join our Fleet and protect and defend this great country know this. I can say without any doubt that there is nothing more gratifying than being part of the mission of serving this country and those who fight for it. But in truth, we can only do our jobs because of those who have paved the way before us. Yes, today is a great day for the program and the Navy, and what you’ll see in media headlines is that “DDG-1000 Delivered!” But for members of the DDG-1000 team and me, personally, the fundamental significance of today is about remembering the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform and our duty to honor it. What we deliver today is more than a tool. It’s more than a capability. It’s a promise of protection and an assurance in a long-standing tradition of maritime power.

Today, we celebrate the world’s greatest Navy taking ownership of the world’s greatest ship. U.S. Navy