Making good on the reputation of a GMCM

PCU USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), a Flt IIA DDG-51-class destroyer in the last stages of her construction at Ingalls, recently got a chance to live fire of her Mk. 45 Mod 4 5-inch/62cal gun for the first time while out on a three day long builder’s sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

The released images look great.

As noted by the Navy,

“The Navy and our dedicated shipbuilders have continued to make strides towards delivering this exceptional capability to the fleet, and performed well during builder’s trials,” said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “This ship continues the proud Aegis shipbuilding legacy and will provide the Navy with a 21st-century fighting edge.”

As the vessel is named for the first MCPON, formerly Master Chief Gunner’s Mate (GMCM) Delbert D. Black, the fact that her gunnery department is on point is no doubt welcome news. Of note, Black was aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) at Pearl Harbor and spent the next 26 years before making MCPON on every type of surface warfare ship imaginable including USS Doyle C. Barnes (DE-353), USS Gardiners Bay (AVP-39), USS Boxer (CVA-21), USS Antietam (CVA-36), USS Brush (DD-745), USS Carpenter (DDE-825), USS Norfolk (DL-1) and USS Springfield (CL-66).

As an interesting contrast shot of DDG-119‘s Mk 45 in relation in size to the Coast Guard’s largest cutter class, I caught this image of Black bow-to-bow with the building Legend-class National Security Cutter USCG Stone (WMSL-758) in the brackish water of the Pascagoula River a few weeks ago. Stone packs a Mk 110 57mm hood ornament, for reference.

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