USS Oscar Austin

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USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79).jpg
USS Oscar Austin
History
United States
Name: USS Oscar Austin
Namesake: Oscar Palmer Austin
Ordered: 20 July 1994
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 9 October 1997
Launched: 7 November 1998
Commissioned: 19 August 2000
Motto: Honor and Sacrifice
Status: in active service
Badge: USS Oscar Austin DDG-79 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
Displacement: 9,200 long tons (9,300 t)
Length: 509 ft 6 in (155.30 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draught: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 100,000 shp (75 MW)
Speed: >30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 380 officers and enlisted
Armament:
Aircraft carried: 2 × SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters

USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. Oscar Austin is named for Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipient Private First Class Oscar P. Austin. This ship is the 29th destroyer of its class. USS Oscar Austin was the 17th ship of this class to be built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and construction began on 9 October 1997. She was launched and christened on 7 November 1998. On 19 August 2000 she was commissioned at Bath, Maine. The ship is currently part of Destroyer Squadron 26.

Flight IIA ships[edit]

USS Oscar Austin is the first ship of the Flight IIA subclass of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Compared to previous Burkes, Flight IIAs are 4 feet 6 inches (1.37 m) longer, displace about 900 tons more, carry six more Vertical Launching System cells, and have a hangar that can house two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters. To prevent the additional superstructure aft from fouling radar returns, the rear-facing SPY-1D panels are one deck higher. Oscar Austin is one of two Flight IIA ships using the older 5-inch/54 caliber naval rifle (the other is Roosevelt) which cannot use certain advanced munitions that require the longer 5 in/62 caliber gun mounted by USS Winston S. Churchill and later Burkes.

History[edit]

Oscar Austin's maiden deployment in late 2002 resulted in her participation in the opening strikes of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Oscar Austin deployed in September 2005, once again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ship returned from a successful deployment in March 2006.

As of 2007, Oscar Austin was operating in Destroyer Squadron 26.[citation needed]

As of 2008 Oscar Austin is the first[citation needed] combatant ship to deploy with a Scan Eagle UAV developed and flown by Insitu Inc.

Commanding officers[edit]

The Commanding Officer (CO) of USS Oscar Austin is the most senior officer that is in command of the ship. Sailors will refer to the CO as "the Captain" (regardless of rank), or sometimes informally as "Skipper". Below is the list of commanding officers of USS Oscar Austin.

# Name Start End
11 CDR Janice G. Smith 2 May 2016 Present
10 CDR Russell B. Sanchez  1 August 2014 2 May 2016
9 CDR Brian J. Diebold 22 October 2012 1 August 2014
8 CDR Charlos D. Washington 4 August 2011 22 October 2012
7 CDR Jeffrey J. Hoppe 23 October 2009 4 August 2011
6 CDR James R. Midkiff 22 April 2008 23 October 2009
5 CDR Eric F. Weilenman 20 October 2006 22 April 2008
4 CDR Peter C. DeMane 18 February 2005 20 October 2006
3 CDR Ralph L. Tindal III 25 July 2003 18 February 2005
2 CDR John P. Cordle 30 November 2001 25 July 2003
1 CDR Paul C. Smith 19 August 2000 30 November 2001

Coat of Arms[edit]

USS Oscar Austin DDG-79 Crest.png

Shield[edit]

The shield has background of blue with red flames. The center encompasses a white globe with a reversed star center over an anchor.

The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. Red signifies sacrifice and valor and white stands for integrity and purity of purpose. A reversed star represents the Medal of Honor awarded to Private First Class Oscar P. Austin, United States Marine Corps, for self-sacrifice and heroism he showed when throwing himself between an enemy grenade and an injured Marine. A white globe with a blue reversed star in the center are the Medal of Honor ribbon colors, while the reversed star is the silhouette of the pendant. The globe and anchor, also the USMC seal, signify the U.S. Navy’s global mission. The flames represent the fire swept terrain as well as enemy fire where Austin sacrificed his life for comrades.

Crest[edit]

The crest consists of an eagle surrounded by crossing tridents and rice stalk.

Representing Oscar Austin’s modern warfare capabilities such as the AEGIS combat systems are the tridents; symbols of sea prowess. The tridents tines denote various warfare areas: air, surface, undersea. The crossed tridents prove multiple capabilities. The surrounding rice stalks signify Vietnam, where Austin served. The eagle symbolizes freedom, the principles of which the country were founded, and the sacrifice of his own life for others freedom.

Motto[edit]

The motto is written on a scroll of gold with blue trim.

The ships motto is "Honor and Sacrifice". The motto is a reference to the honorable sacrifice of Private First Class Oscar P. Austin and the Medal of Honor he received.

Seal[edit]

The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS Oscar Austin" at the top and "DDG 79" in the base all gold.

References[edit]

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]