USS Fitzgerald underway in 2012
|United States of America|
|Namesake:||William Charles Fitzgerald|
|Ordered:||22 February 1990|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works|
|Laid down:||9 February 1993|
|Launched:||29 January 1994|
|Sponsored by:||Betty Ann Fitzgerald|
|Christened:||29 January 1994|
|Commissioned:||14 October 1995|
|Motto:||"Protect Your People"|
|Nickname(s):||"Fighting Fitz", "Fightin' Fitz"|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Arleigh Burke-class destroyer|
|Length:||505 ft (154 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)|
|Aircraft carried:||2 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters can be embarked|
USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), named for U.S. Navy officer William Charles Fitzgerald, is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was laid down by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine 9 February 1993; launched 29 January 1994; and commissioned 14 October 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island. She was then homeported in Naval Station San Diego, California. Now based at Yokosuka, she is part of Destroyer Squadron 15.
In early April 2004, it was announced that USS Fitzgerald would be one of fifteen destroyers and three cruisers which would be deployed to counter ballistic missile threats worldwide. She arrived in Yokosuka, Japan on 30 September 2004 to join the U.S. 7th Fleet after participating in a personnel exchange known as "Super Swap". 140 sailors from the destroyer USS O'Brien transferred to Fitzgerald and 95 of Fitzgerald’s sailors joined the decommissioning unit for O'Brien. She is now homeported at Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan.
In March 2011, in company with the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Fitzgerald was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
On 16 November 2011, while docked in Manila, Philippines, Fitzgerald acted as the site where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario signed the Manila Declaration calling for multilateral talks to resolve maritime disputes and to mark the 60th anniversary of the American-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty.
The Fitzgerald family coat of arms (a white shield with a red saltire) provides the foundation for the coat of arms for Fitzgerald. The shield signifies defense, while the saltire connotes strength and its red color represents valor and action. This traditional design has been modified by the addition of a blue cross paty interlaced with a gold annulet and four shamrocks. The cross commemorates the Navy Cross posthumously awarded to Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald for extraordinary heroism in the Vietnam battle that took his life. The annulet symbolizes the continuity of everlasting hope, fidelity and unity. The four shamrocks represent Lieutenant Fitzgerald's Irish family and heritage.
The sword and cutlass crossed behind the shield depict Lieutenant Fitzgerald's personal experiences as both an officer and enlisted sailor, as well as the professional excellence and teamwork in the United States Navy. The dolphins flanking the shield signify maritime dominance and allude to Fitzgerald's role in preserving America's command of the seas.
The trident, a traditional symbol of maritime prowess, represents both Lieutenant Fitzgerald's graduation from the United States Naval Academy and Fitzgerald's war fighting capabilities. Each tine of the trident depicts separate warfare areas—air, surface and sub-surface—in which Fitzgerald possesses unmatched strengths. Lions, the traditional symbol for strength and courage on land, support each side of the trident. They commemorate the circumstances under which Lieutenant Fitzgerald gave his life and to signify the eternal vigilance and teamwork necessary to project U.S. maritime power ashore.
The scroll, in the national colors of red, white, and blue and emblazoned with the motto "Protect Your People," bears testimony to the ideals and actions exemplified throughout the life of William Charles Fitzgerald. This motto also links the Fitzgeralds' ancient family history—their Gallic war cry translates as "Defend the castle forever" – with the gallantry, dedication and extraordinary heroism of Lieutenant Fitzgerald and the honored traditions of the United States Navy.
The commanding officer (C.O.) of USS Fitzgerald is a United States Navy commissioned officer that is the most senior officer on the ship. The C.O. is the ultimate authority over operations of Fitzgerald and her crew. To date, there have been thirteen commanding officers:
List of commanding officers
|#||Name||Start of tenure||End of tenure|
|13||CDR Christopher S. England||29 May 2014||incumbent|
|12||CDR Jonathan Lowe Schmitz||17 December 2012||29 May 2014|
|11||CDR Brian T. Mutty||26 July 2011||17 December 2012|
|10||CDR Dennis Velez||18 May 2010||26 July 2011|
|9||CDR Richard John Dromerhauser||31 October 2008||18 May 2010|
|8||CDR Daniel P. Dusek||4 May 2007||31 October 2008|
|7||CDR David Wayne Hughes||7 September 2005||4 May 2007|
|6||CDR Bradley Joseph Smith||24 October 2003||7 September 2005|
|5||CDR John Phillip Neagley||12 December 2001||24 October 2003|
|4||CDR Alfred Collins||19 April 2000||12 December 2001|
|3||CDR James Stephen Grant||23 October 1998||19 April 2000|
|2||CDR Charles Walt Martoglio||30 April 1997||23 October 1998|
|1||CDR Gary Michael Holst||14 October 1995||30 April 1997|
- "USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62)". Facebook.
- Rabiroff, John (17 March 2011). "U.S. military delivers 40 tons of supplies to hardest-hit areas". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- "Warships Supporting Earthquake in Japan". Seawaves. Archived from the original on 23 March 2011.
- Stewart, Joshua (14 March 2011). "Navy ships off Japan move to avoid radiation". Military Times. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- "Clinton uses warship to push Philippines alliance". ABS-CBN News Interactive. Agence France-Presse. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- "US, Philippines boost alliance amid row with China". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Associated Press. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- Dortch, Debbie (5 February 2012). "SECNAV Names 2012 Outstanding Food Service Ney Award Winners". US Navy. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.
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