PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - With a mighty smash of a bottle, the Delbert D. Black DDG 119 is officially ready to fare the seas.
The 32nd Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer built at Ingalls, it's named in honor of Delbert D. Black who holds a special honor in naval history.
Black served as the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. He survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and served in three wars.
Steven Giordano is serving as the 14th MCPON.
"I think that MCPON Black was phenomenal in a lot of aspects of what he did for our Navy, but most people remember Del as being the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, and I think that's just iconic," said Giordano.
As the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Black was an advocate to all enlisted sailors and their families. His wife, Ima Black, was chosen as the ship's sponsor.
"It's just a special moment and to see all the great teamwork and work that's done at Ingalls Shipyard, and what that means for our nation as part of our strategy to get the 355 ships that are in our Navy and build that fleet up, this is monumental," said United States Representative, Gregg Harper.
Once the destroyer is out at sea, it will be able to fight threats on, above, and below the surface. Having a vessel that can fend off a variety of attacks is important in today's time.
"This is not like it used to be, wars used to be defined by country borders. Now we fight fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, all around the world, there are missions that have to be done. We worry about North Korea and other hotspots around the globe and our navy is there to step up and provide that defense for our country...so this is a key part," added Harper.