The USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), an Arleigh Burke Class, AEGIS Guided Missile Destroyer, was commissioned at Broward County’s Port Everglades on Nov.12, 2005, following a week of activities for the crew and their families in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.
This is the fourth US Navy vessel to be commissioned at Port Everglades in the seaport’s 78-year history. Other US Navy ships commissioned at Port Everglades include the USS Leyete Gulf (1987), USS Cole (1996) and USS Higgins (1999). The USS John C. Calhoun submarine (1993) was decommissioned at the Port. Port Everglades is also frequently the port of choice for official Change of Command ceremonies.
More than 5,000 dignitaries and invited guests attended the commissioning ceremony. US Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr., was the principal speaker. Also attending was the Ship Sponsor, Susan Bainbridge Hay, a direct descendant of Commodore William Bainbridge, the ship’s namesake.
With the commissioning of the USS Bainbridge, Port Everglades continues its tradition as a favorite liberty and ceremonial seaport for the US Navy.
About the Ship
Cmdr. John M. Dorey of Auburn, MA, a 1986 Naval Academy graduate, is the ship’s first commanding officer and will lead a crew of 292 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Bainbridge was built by Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company in Maine, and has an overall length of 509.5 feet, a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 33 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) is a Flight IIA variant of the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer and incorporates a helicopter hanger facility into the original design. The ship can carry two SH-60B/R helicopters. Guided-missile destroyers operate independently and in conjunction with carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups.
The new guided missile destroyer honors the outstanding and heroic service of Commodore William Bainbridge who served in the Navy from 1789-1833. Four previous ships have been named in honor of Bainbridge, including a 259-ton brig (1842-1863), two destroyers (1902-1920 and 1921-1945), and a nuclear-powered cruiser (1962-1997).