U.S. Navy's newest destroyer arrives in Key West
The USS Spruance will be commissioned at Naval Air Station Key West next week.
September 23rd, 2011
07:39 PM ET

U.S. Navy's newest destroyer arrives in Key West

The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer, the USS Spruance, has arrived in Key West, Florida, where it will be formally commissioned next week.

The 509-foot-long Spruance is a multimission ship that will carry Tomahawk cruise missiles and two helicopters.

“It was the commanding officer's choice on where he wanted the commissioning," said Trice Denny, spokesman for Naval Air Station Key West, where the destroyer arrived. "He picked Key West because he has been here before, and he knew it would be memorable for the crew and their families."

Another reason for holding the ceremony in the southernmost city on the United States’ mainland, Denny said, is because of the ship’s name. The ship is named for Adm. Raymond Spruance, who directed aircraft carriers during the Battle of Midway in World War II.

The vessel will be open to the public on Saturday and on September 30 from 1 to 4 p.m.

After it is commissioned, the Spruance will be based in San Diego.

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Filed under: Florida • Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Cool name.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. drap

    can you find good key lime pie in San Diego... .?

    September 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jay

    Did we really need another destroyer though. Wouldn't it have been cheaper just re commissioning the USS Missouri. It seems to me that refurbishing her would've been a hole lot cheaper and she's had a fine history.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Depends on what new gadgets the new destroyer has. They might have had to entirely gut the missouri. Then you'd have to pay to gut it as well as putting in the new stuff.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JR

      You obviously know little about the Navy, or the military, so let me educate you a bit.

      While the 'Mo' and her sister ships were great vessels back when they were built in the 40s, they're not designed, nor equipped to deal with modern war-fighting threats. The battleships were designed for heavy duty ship to ship fighting (which doesn't exist anymore) and long distance shore bombardment. They are ill equipped to deal with fast moving, sea skimming missiles, jet bombers or fighters, or stealthy submarines.

      The Arleigh Burke class of destroyers, of which the Spruance is a member, is specifically designed around the AEGIS Combat System, which combines high powered SPY radar, standard missiles, Tomahawk missiles, MK41 torpedoes, an advanced underwater combat system, and very fine grained weapons control to provide an umbrella for the fleet against incoming missiles, aircraft, or submarines. The most essential part of any forward operating battle group is its carrier (where, during the pre-WWII era, it was the battleship). Unfortunately, with the exception of its air wing, a carrier is basically a floating island with no defensive or offensive weaponry. To counter threats, the destroyers and cruisers, and to a lesser extent, frigates, are deployed to stop any air threats, up to an extreme distance (the range is classified).

      Also, new ships are equipped to be ships of the line, to command their own battle groups, if necessary, and are networked with all other Naval assets to snap fire missiles from other ships and platforms, when needed. They're also designed to reduce manning requirements. A battleship required almost 3000 sailors as a complement, whereas a destroyer mans about 250. To modernize a battleship to a Burke's specifications would cost more than five of these ships.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      You are soooooo right (NOT). Why bother with a new rocket to go to the moon? Let's recycle the ones from the 50's. While you're at it, give up your computer and get a manual typewriter.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jay

    Oops forgot the w on whole my mistake.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    banasy are u here girl?

    September 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    i need u to give gung hoe a message he thinks im mad at him and hes upset and i would like to give him a number but not on here 4 obvious reasons

    September 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    tell him plz i am not mad at him and i talked to him in a dif blog but cnn deleted it already

    September 23, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jay

    @leeintulsa: I thought about that but it sounds like this destroyer is actually not as sophisticated as the Missouri. The Missouri did get a revamp back in the nineties so it's not like it's that outdated, it too had tomahawk missiles along with nuclear power if memory serves me correctly. Still you may have a point I'm just questioning the necessity since we're so financially strapped and have vessels mothballed that are already better than anything anyone else has.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      More profits from building a new ship.

      September 24, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • JR

      It has nothing to do with whether or not the 'Mo' can fire Tomahawks, it has to do with its other ancillary systems. Can a battleship fire SM-2 and SM-3 missiles? What about SM-6 or ESSMs? Can it detect aircraft and sea skimming missiles in areas of dense littoral clutter? Can it do so with a 250 man crew? Is it equipped to mount future weapons, like directed energy rays, lasers, or rail guns? Can it shoot a satellite out of orbit?

      No, a battleship can't do any of these things, and to make it do so would cost billions and billions of dollars, just for the design phase. Implementation and testing would cost billions more.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mmmmm

    Whatever all that money to carry just 2 helicopters?

    September 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JR

      A destroyer isn't in the game of carrying a large complement of helicopters, because it only needs two LAMPS helos for anti-submarine warfare. For operations where a large number of helos are required, such as attack helos, transport helos, or otherwise, we have amphibious dock ships, helicopter landing carriers, aircraft carriers, and amphibious assault ships.

      This ship is designed and built to knock down aircraft and sea-skimming missiles.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JimCali

    ONE IN EVERY FOUR TAX DOLLARS goes to making "DEFENSE" executives even MORE WEALTHY!


    I love paying for those mega-mansions!

    September 24, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury

      "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. ... Is there no other way the world may live?"

      – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953


      September 24, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      Without our military you'd be working twice as hard to build mansions in China. Your "peace sign" is really the footprint of the American Chicken.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bills Digital Photo

    So where is the photo of the new ship? What good is a story about a new war machine without an image of it?

    September 24, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. jim

    What does key west have to do with the battle of midway?

    September 24, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bills Digital Photo

    So how come the Tea Party did not vote NO on this new ship? Forget about the hungry/homeless people in our nation. Just keep supporting/protecting the rich.

    September 24, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |

    does it have a glass bottom? my friend lo-lyf likes "glass bottom boats"

    September 24, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. leeintulsa

    However much it cost, it does seem money wasted. For the types of war we're fighting, a destroyer hardly seems necessary.

    September 24, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • JR

      Actually, in asymmetric warfare, which is what we're engaged in currently in Iraq and Afghanistan, a large number of Tomahawk missiles are fired (standoff weapons). Destroyers are the number one platform used to deploy and fire Tomahawks, especially during the crucial first days of any engagement, where the goal is to knock as many anti-air missile emplacements out as possible, so that the Air Force and Navy can then achieve air dominance with little risk to our pilots.

      September 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
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