A 13 October 1775 resolution of the Continental Congress established what is now the United States Navy with “a swift sailing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns, and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men, be fitted, with all possible despatch, for a cruise of three months….” After the American War of Independence, the U.S. Constitution empowered the new Congress “to provide and maintain a navy.” Acting on this authority, Congress established the Department of the Navy on 30 April 1798.
In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized official recognition of 13 October as the birthday of the U.S. Navy. Since then, each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.”
NORWEGIAN SEA (Nov. 22, 2019) The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) fires its Mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise. Gridley is underway on a scheduled deployment as the flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group One to conduct maritime operations and provide a continuous maritime capability for NATO in the Northern Atlantic. (U.S. Navy photo by Master-At-Arms 1st Class Joseph Broyles)
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.