Delbert D. Black is the 68th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to be delivered to the Navy and the first to bear its name. DDG 119 honors the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON). Black is known for initiating the master chief program, ensuring enlisted leadership was properly represented Navy-wide.
DDG 119 is the fourth (of nine) Arleigh Burke-class, “Flight IIA: Technology Insertion” variant. “Technology Insertion” ships are fitted with elements from the future DDG 51 Flight III ships. It was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), Ingalls Shipbuilding Division.
MCPON Russell Smith, currently serving as the 15th senior enlisted leader of the Navy, was the Principle Speaker. MCPON Smith fills the role begun by Black as advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and to the Chief of Naval Personnel in matters dealing with enlisted personnel and their families.
“This is the first ship to honor a senior enlisted leader in such a way for their contributions in this realm, and represents a significant milestone achievement that recognizes both the responsibility of the position to the Navy, as well the tremendous accountability to those enlisted Sailors we primarily provide advocacy for. The vision and effort it took to move the idea of a Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy into an effective reality cannot be overstated, and all of us have been the benefactors of his legend of service by advancing the work that he began.
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, welcomed the ship that brings a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments to the premier Surface Force in the world.
“The USS Delbert D. Black joins the Fleet during a time when its cutting-edge capabilities are most needed. I’m extremely proud of this crew and know the pennant of courage, teamwork, inclusiveness and sacrifice will be taken up and flown even higher with the Sailors who serve aboard the ship.”
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper