JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (DDG 121), arrived at its homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 13, after completing its maiden voyage from Charleston, South Carolina where the ship was commissioned.
"This warship honors the legacy of a great American, symbolized in US steel and manifested in the proud Sailors before you. My crew and I share a deep sense of pride and honor to represent our namesake, the late Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr., USMC," said Cmdr. Daniel Hancock, Frank E. Petersen, Jr.'s commanding officer. "We are excited to call Hawaii home, a place that holds fond memories for the Petersen family who served here. We look forward to being good neighbors in the community. In Pearl Harbor, history is not only studied but lived every day. We know that war can come at any time but we know that we will not be alone; we are enthusiastic about joining our fellow greyhounds in Destroyer Squadron 31 - Ke Koa O Ke Kai - The Warriors of the Sea. This ship is fast, formidable, and built to fight and win in the Pacific Theater. This is a great ship, with a proud name, and a wonderful crew; we are thrilled to be here in Hawaii, ready for fleet service."
The ship honors Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (USMC Ret.). Petersen was the first black USMC aviator and the first black Marine to become a three-star general. General Petersen served two combat tours, Korea in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. He flew more than 350 combat missions and had over 4,000 hours in various fighter and attack aircraft. Lt. Gen. Petersen passed away in August 2015 at the age of 83.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface.