|The "Quiet Warrior" himself at Pearl Harbor, HI 1943|
|USS Spruance DDG111 at Key West, FL September 23, 2011.|
Relax, relax it is still there but that caught your attention right!
Key West was for several decades a Navy town, after the Navy left except for the Key West Naval Air Station they still have a Coast Guard Base and the Navy visits. However it is a cruise and tourist town nowadays.
On Friday September 23, 2011 the Destroyer USS Spruance DDG111 arrived for a visit and her commissioning on Saturday October 01, 2011. USS Spruance DDG 111 is the 61st. Arleigh-Burke-Class guided missile destroyer building of the Class started in the 1980's the vessels have a 40 year life expectancy.
With the demise of "Don't ask Don't tell" what better place than Key West, it is an open town that welcomes all tourists and has something for everyone. However the vessel's welcome to Key West was not quite perfect and a little thoughtless. She was assisted alongside by two local tugs which did not cover their black bumpers with white cloths as they do for the cruise ships when they are assigned to assist them. The result was black rubber marks on the pristine grey hull. The Navy crew were soon overside cleaning those off - bet the tug crews got an earful - maybe they should buy the "Quiet Warriors" a few cases of beer.
After her commissioning the USS Spruance DDG111 will depart Key West, call at Ports in Columbia, Mexico, and transit the Panama Canal on her way to her homeport of San Diego, CA. Later once the vessel and crew are fully trained and 'up-to-standard' she will be assigned to an overseas fleet.
Somewhat unusual these days with security concerns the vessel will be open to the public from 1300 to 1600 today Saturday September 24, and again on Friday September 30, 2011.
This could be a strong addition to the Persian Gulf Fleet as she could be used to protect seafarers some 400 of whom are held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia.