USS Bainbridge (DDG-96)
|Ordered:||6 March 1998|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works|
|Laid down:||7 May 2003|
|Christened:||13 November 2004|
|Commissioned:||12 November 2005|
|Homeport:||Naval Station Norfolk|
|Motto:||Competence, Dedication, Discipline|
|Status:||in active service, as of 2014[update]|
|Class & type:||Arleigh Burke-class destroyer|
|Length:||509 ft 6 in (155.3 m)|
|Beam:||66 ft (20 m)|
|Draft:||31 ft (9.4 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)|
|Speed:||>30 knots (56 km/h)|
|Range:||4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots
(8,100 km at 37 km/h)
|Complement:||270 officers and enlisted|
|Aircraft carried:||2 × SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters|
USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the fifth ship to carry that name, and the 46th destroyer of a planned 75-ship class. Bainbridge is named in honor of Commodore William Bainbridge, who as commander of the frigate USS Constitution distinguished himself in the War of 1812 when he and his crew captured HMS Java, a 38-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.
Since her commissioning in 2005, Bainbridge has been active in the Mediterranean Sea, but most of the attention she has garnered has been as a result of the failed hijacking attempt of the U.S.-flagged freighter MV Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates in April, 2009, which ended with the release of the vessel's Master, Captain Richard Phillips, on 12 April 2009. After crewmen of the captured cargo vessel managed to retake the ship, the pirates retreated, taking the ship's Master hostage in a lifeboat. Bainbridge, Halyburton, and Boxer shadowed the pirates, and with FBI assistance attempted negotiations for the safe return of the captive captain until U.S. Navy SEAL snipers resolved the situation with deadly force. The story of this incident was turned into the 2013 motion picture titled Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks.
Bainbridge is one of 75 authorized Arleigh Burke–class guided missile destroyers, and is classified as a member of the Flight IIA–class variation that incorporate the 5"/62 caliber gun mount, an improvement over the previous 5"/54 caliber gun mounts on the earlier Arleigh Burke–class destroyers. In addition to her guns, Bainbridge carries over 100 missiles of various types aboard two separate Mk 41 VLS magazines. Her superstructure features the AN/SPY-1 radar indicative of the Aegis combat system, which allows the destroyer to track over 100 targets simultaneously. (Owing to the presence of the Aegis system, Bainbridge and her sisters are sometimes incorrectly referred to as Aegis-class ships.) She is also equipped with the Remote Mine-hunting System (RMS), which includes the Remote Mine-hunting Vehicle (RMV), an unmanned craft that detects, classifies, and localizes underwater mines.
Bainbridge was floated from drydock and christened on 13 November 2004  at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, sponsored by Susan Bainbridge Hay, Commodore William Bainbridge's great-great-great-granddaughter. She was commissioned on 12 November 2005, with Commander John M. Dorey commanding.
Bainbridge assumed flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG-1) from USS Normandy (SNMG-1 April 2007 – August 2007) and remained flagship from August 2007 until February 2008. While on deployment under SNMG-1, they visited various ports across the Mediterranean such as Valletta, Malta; A Coruña, Spain; Istanbul, Turkey; Crete, Athens, Greece; as well as Port Victoria, Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.
On 8 April 2009, Bainbridge was dispatched in response to a hostage situation in which Somali pirates had seized control of an American-flagged cargo vessel, the Maersk Alabama. The crew of the Alabama were able to get to safety, after their captain had been taken hostage by the pirates. He was taken to and held on a lifeboat, and refused release in an unsuccessful attempt to exchange him for a pirate the ship's crew had captured. The destroyer shadowed and later encircled the Somali pirates during the standoff, at which time the pirates and Bainbridge began negotiating for the safe release of the captive captain. On 12 April 2009 Captain Phillips was freed—reportedly in good condition—during a US Navy SEAL team assault. Three of the Somali pirates were killed by US Navy SEAL sharpshooters aboard Bainbridge, and one was captured.
In January of 2014, Bainbridge completed a six-month deployment to Sixth Fleet and returned to her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia.
- "USS Bainbridge (DDG 96)Ship Information". US Navy. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- "American captain rescued, pirates killed, U.S. official says". CNN. 12 April 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- AN/WLD-1 – Remote Minehunting System. See also DN-SD-06-08197 for a 2004 image of the RMS, aboard USS Momsen (DDG-92), with logo that says "Remote Minehunting System".
- Lenz, Ryan (November 14, 2004). "USS Bainbridge christened at BIW; Fifth warship to be named for "Old Ironsides' commander". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. p. B5. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "U.S. warship near boat carrying pirates". CNN. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "US navy closes grip on Somali pirates". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
- "USS Bainbridge Completes Mission". Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.