The U.S. Navy has commissioned the latest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to join the fleet, the USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119).
The ship was commissioned on Sept. 26 in a private event due to public health and safety concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The ship is named after the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Delbert Black, who served from January 1967 until April 1971.
“This is the first ship to honor a senior enlisted leader in such a way for their contributions in this realm, and represents a significant milestone achievement that recognizes both the responsibility of the position to the Navy, as well the tremendous accountability to those enlisted Sailors we primarily provide advocacy for,” said MCPON Russell Smith, who is the 15th senior enlisted leader of the Navy, in a Navy statement. “The vision and effort it took to move the idea of a Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy into an effective reality cannot be overstated, and all of us have been the benefactors of his legend of service by advancing the work that he began.”
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, said in the statement that the Black “joins the Fleet during a time when its cutting-edge capabilities are most needed.”
The ship is the 68th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer delivered to the Navy.
MAIN PHOTO: PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (Sept. 23, 2020) The Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), arrives at Port Canaveral, Fla. The Navy will commission Delbert D. Black, the first ship in naval history to be named after the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Sept. 26, 2020. Due to public health and safety concerns related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning will be a private event. The event will be live-streamed to offer maximum viewing by the public. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Anastasia McCarroll)