USS Ted Stevens will be ‘most powerful’ warship in the world

Article By Alaska’s News Source | 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – A new United States Navy destroyer to be christened this weekend will be the most advanced ship of its kind in the naval fleet — and the world.


The USS Ted Stevens, carrying the hull number DDG 128, is the second Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer built at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss.


When it sets sail, it will be the most powerful and advanced destroyer in the world, according to its commanding officer Capt. Mary Katey Hays.


“It has the Navy’s most advanced offensive and defensive weapons, the fastest computers, the best radar, the best anti-submarine warfare gear,” Hays said. “It is truly top of the line. And really the entire destroyer fleet from DDG 51 until DDG 129, that’s being built right next to ours, they’re the backbone of the fleet.”


The ship is named for former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, who was the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator, representing Alaska from 1968 to 2009. The ship that carries his name will be christened at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula on Sunday.


Stevens, a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, became known as ‘Mr. Alaska,’ by the Department of the Interior in 1956 because of his “relentless efforts on Alaska statehood,” according to the Ted Stevens Foundation in Anchorage. In 2000, Stevens was named “Alaskan of the Century,” championing for a variety of issues, including support for the military. Stevens died in a plane crash in 2010 near Dillingham.


“During his service Alaska was transformed in large part because of his commitment to Alaskans through improvements in health care, communications, transportation, education, sanitation, aviation, fisheries, mining, oil and gas development and innumerable other ways,” the Foundation wrote on their website.


A ship as mighty as the DDG 128 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer bearing Stevens’ name is a fitting honor for such a legendary man, Capt. Hays said.


“I’m really humbled by it,” Hays said. “You know, dedication Sen. Stevens had to the Navy, to the nation, to the people of Alaska, it’s really humbling you know, and that name is on the transom of our ship. It’s going to be really special. It’s amazing to read about his legacy, it’s amazing to talk to the people of Alaska and listen to the things that Sen. Stevens did throughout his life. It’s amazing to have a ship named after him and certainly to be the commanding officer of that ship.”


On Friday, representatives of the U.S. Navy, members of the Stevens family, and some of the late senator’s friends and colleagues, met at the cafeteria at Ingalls Shipbuilding for a mast stepping ceremony. The ceremony involves placing items — as coins, pins and flags, that are sentimental to Stevens, Alaska as well as the ship’s crew that worked on the ship that will be christened Saturday. The items will be placed at the bottom of the ship’s mast during construction, similar to a time capsule.


“It’s really moving,” Lily Becker, Stevens’ youngest daughter, said. “They tell us that it dates back to time immemorial that this box, we’re able to select items that were indicative of dad’s spirit and character in life and other items relating to the ship.”


Becker said she was “overwhelmed and honored,” when she found out a ship was going to be christened in her father’s name.


“He was incredible,” Becker said. “I think about him every day, every single day. There really is nobody in the world like him. He created a family environment beyond our blood family.”


The christening ceremony of the USS Ted Stevens is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula.


Copyright 2023 KTUU. All rights reserved.

Article By Alaska’s News Source | 

Copyright © 2023 USS Ted Stevens Commissioning Committee – All Rights Reserved. The USS Ted Stevens Commissioning Committee is a nonprofit organization. We are a registered charity with the State of Alaska and classified as a 501(c)(3) organization by the US Internal Revenue Service, EIN 92-3891870

Quick Link

P.O. Box 92861

Anchorage, AK 99509

Social Networks

Join the community