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Newest US Navy ship to be commissioned at Port Everglades

The guided-missile destroyer pre-commissioning unit Paul Ignatius is launched at first light Nov. 12, 2016, at Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. The USS Paul Ignatius will be put into active duty July 27, 2019.

ANDREW YOUNG/U.S. NAVY

By WAYNE K. ROUSTAN | Sun Sentinel | Published: May 23, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Paul Ignatius, will be put into active duty July 27, said Glenn Wiltshire, Port Everglades acting-Chief Executive and Port Director.

“The commissioning of U.S. Navy vessels at ports other than Navy homeports is not regularly done," he said, in a statement. "The fact that Broward County and Port Everglades have been chosen to host a U.S. Navy ship commissioning for the sixth time in the past 32 years is an honor.”

The USS Paul Ignatius is named for the 59th secretary of the Navy during President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. Secretary Ignatius plans to attend the ceremonies, making it the first destroyer to be commissioned with the honoree present.

“We are looking forward to the ship’s commissioning at a place that has a history of a warm, military-welcoming community,” the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Robby Trotter, said in a statement.

It is the Navy’s 67th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and features the latest technology and weapon systems with the most advanced combat capabilities.

The Ignatius is 513 feet long and 66 feet wide with a propulsion system that will drive it to speeds over 30 knots. The ship can accommodate a crew of 304 sailors.

Previous naval ships to be commissioned at Port Everglades include the USS Leyete Gulf (1987), USS Cole (1996), USS Higgins (1999), USS Bainbridge (2005), and the USS Jason Dunham (2010). The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Richard Ethridge was also commissioned at the port in 2012.

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