Troops onboard the newest destroyer to join the Navy’s Pacific Fleet arrived in San Diego on Monday morning to hundreds of families and friends.
USS Spruance is the second Navy ship to bear the name Spruance in honor of Admiral Raymond Spruance who commanded Carrier Task Force 16 during the Battle of Midway in World War II.( Wed Oct 05 12:59:09 PDT 2011 $__output )
“We are thrilled to be back in San Diego”, beamed Commander Tate Westbrook. “One of our big challenges has been bringing the honor of Admiral Spruance, a WWII hero, which for most of my crew of an average age of 21 is the hero of a black and white movie. It’s been an important part of our duties to bring Admiral Spruance’s legacy to the color TV generation and we are thrilled to honor the second USS Spruance.”
The Spruance is a multi-mission ship with a crew of 285 sailors. It carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, a 5-inch gun, sonar systems and two helicopters. The ship is powered by four gas-turbine engines and is capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.
The ship’s mission was to help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within the Fleet’s 50 million-square mile area of responsibility in the East Pacific.
Diana Zuigia, an operation specialist aboard the ship, said she is just happy to finally be back home after a year and a half.
“I kept coming back but it’s not the same," she said. "Now I’m back for good. It’s the newest ship on the waterfront. Glad to be a part of it.”