USS Sterett unveiled, set to sail

August 10, 2008|By Euna Lhee | Euna Lhee,Sun Reporter

The USS Sterett, the Navy's newest $1.3 billion guided-missile destroyer, was commissioned in the Port of Baltimore yesterday evening in an hourlong ceremony, complete with cannon fire and marching band performances.

The warship was berthed at South Locust Point Cruise Terminal, next to the historic Constellation, which was moved from its usual Inner Harbor mooring for the occasion.

Those in attendance included Gov. Martin O'Malley, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Archbishop of Baltimore Edwin F. O'Brien. Greg Sterett, a descendant of the ship's namesake, boarded the ship in Colonial garb.

Navy officials addressed the crowd of several thousand, which included active members of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Named for Baltimore-born 19th-century naval officer Andrew Sterett, the Sterett is the first major naval ship to be commissioned here in nearly 25 years. It has a crew of 280.

The vessel's radar can pick up objects as small as a fly and detect potential hazards more than 100 miles away.

The Sterett, which took four years to build, left its shipyard in Bath, Maine, at the end of June for a month of at-sea testing and arrived in Baltimore last week. It will leave the city tomorrow and sail to its home port in San Diego.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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