USS The Sullivans (DDG-68)

USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the five Sullivan brothers – George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert Sullivan, aged 20 to 27 – who lost their lives when their ship, USS Juneau, was sunk by a Japanese submarine in November 1942 in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (the first ship named for them was USS The Sullivans (DD-537)). This was the greatest military loss by any one American family during World War II. In 2000 a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda attempted to attack and destroy The Sullivans, but the attackers' boat sank before the attack could be carried out.[2]

USS The Sullivans DDG-68
USS The Sullivans sailing through the Mediterranean Sea in July 2002.
United States
Name: USS The Sullivans
Namesake: Sullivan brothers
Ordered: 8 April 1992
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 27 July 1994
Launched: 12 August 1995
Commissioned: 19 April 1997
Homeport: NS Mayport, Florida, U.S.
Motto: "We Stick Together"[1]
Status: in active service
Badge: USS The Sullivans crest
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
  • Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters can be embarked


The contract to build The Sullivans was awarded to Bath Iron Works Corporation in Bath, Maine on 8 April 1992 and her keel was laid down on 27 July 1994. She was launched on 12 August 1995 and sponsored by Kelly Ann Sullivan Loughren, granddaughter of Albert Sullivan. The ship was commissioned on 19 April 1997, with Commander Gerard D. Roncolato in command.[3][4][5] Upon her commissioning, the ship was given the motto that is thought to have been spoken by the brothers when asked to separate during World War II, "We Stick Together."


US Navy 031200-N-0000X-001 The guided missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69), and the guided missile destroyers USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) launch a coordinated volley of missiles d
USS The Sullivans and other ships launch missiles in December 2003.

On 26 April 1997, The Sullivans departed New York City for Norfolk, Virginia, where, after arriving on 27 April, the crew completed underway replenishment qualifications with Platte. The warship then sailed for NS Mayport, Florida, on 29 April and arrived in her new homeport on 2 May.[5]

After completing two days of gunnery trials in mid-May, The Sullivans embarked upon her shakedown deployment to the West Indies on 27 May. That cruise took her to the waters off Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the destroyer conducted numerous sonar, gunnery, and torpedo exercises. The warship also twice entered Roosevelt Roads and stopped once at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for port visits. On 29 June, The Sullivans conducted test firings of Standard SM-2 ER missiles from her vertical launch system (VLS). After a brief stop at Mayport for the 4 July weekend, the warship joined other Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, cruisers, destroyers, and frigates off the Virginia Capes for a multiple-ship missile firing exercise. She returned to Mayport on 12 July for upkeep.[5]

Following three days of damage control exercises in mid-August, the crew began preparations for a post shakedown availability. She sailed for Maine on 3 September, arriving at Bath Iron Works on 5 September. The shipyard repainted the hull, altered the superstructure, and installed equipment upgrades in the engineering plant and combat systems suite. When the yard work was completed The Sullivans got underway for Mayport, arriving there on 23 November.[5]

On 8 December, the destroyer joined the aircraft carrier Enterprise off Georgia for a week of underway training. While providing plane guard services on 11 December, a T-45 Goshawk trainer splashed following take-off. The Sullivans made a high-speed dash to the site. While the carrier's rescue helicopter safely rescued the pilot, boats launched by The Sullivans picked up considerable pieces of wreckage which were helpful in determining the cause of the crash. The crew also completed helicopter deck landing qualifications before returning to port for the holidays on 12 December.[5]

In January 1998, the crew of The Sullivans began a series of exercises designed "to build the capability for long-term self-sustained training onboard." They included engineering, combat, seamanship, and battle scenario training exercises. These local operations lasted until 18 May when the warship got underway for New York City and the annual "Fleet Week" celebrations.[5]

Following a week-long port visit, The Sullivans got underway on 26 May for Halifax, Nova Scotia, to conduct training workups for the upcoming Exercise "Unified Spirit '98." During the exercise she joined an amphibious task force formed around USS Nassau, two Amphibious transport docks (LPDs), and two dock landing ships (LSDs). The warship screened the "gator" ships during an exercise focusing on multi-national peace enforcement operations. Ships from Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal also participated in the exercise. After this exercise, the ship visited Boston, Massachusetts, and then sailed with relatives and family for Mayport, arriving on 1 July.[5]

After a summer of conducting midshipmen training off the Florida coast, CDR Roncolato was relieved by CDR E. Scott Hebner, USN, in a change of command ceremony on 4 September 1998. The Sullivans was then assigned to Destroyer Squadron 24, a component of the John F. Kennedy Battle Group. In 1999 the ship participated in various training exercises to prepare for her maiden deployment in October to the Mediterranean Sea. Later in 2000 she continued into the Arabian Sea, participating in exercises and boarding operations until late March. On 9 February 2000, CDR Daniel Paul Keller USN relieved CDR Heber in a change of command ceremony held at sea on station in the Persian Gulf.[5]

After port visits in the Persian Gulf, The Sullivans returned through the Mediterranean Sea to her homeport in April 2000, successfully completing her first six-month deployment. After participating in BEACHFEST at Port Canaveral, Florida, The Sullivans underwent a major maintenance overhaul to prepare for future operations.[5]

While underway and sailing for Composite Unit Training Exercise[6] 01-2 The Sullivans received word of the September 11 attacks. The Sullivans, as part of the Kennedy Battle Group, took part in Operation Noble Eagle. The destroyer provided air-space security along the mid-Atlantic seaboard.[7]

In February 2002 The Sullivans deployed with the John F. Kennedy Carrier battle group to the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.[5]

On 20 March 2010 as the ship entered the harbor at Manama, Bahrain it struck a harbor buoy and sustained between $200,000 and $1 million in damage. The ship's captain, Commander Neil Funtanilla, was subsequently relieved of his command at an admiral's mast by Rear Admiral Phil Davidson, commander of Combined Task Force 50.[8]

On 17 August 2011, The Sullivans mistakenly fired on a fishing boat rather than a towed gunnery target during a gunnery exercise off North Carolina. As a result, Commander Mark Olson was relieved of his command. None of the inert shells hit the boat and there were no injuries as a result of the incident.[9]

On 7 May 2012, Commander Derick Armstrong was relieved of command after several female crew members alleged that he sexually harassed women aboard ship.[10][11]

On 18 August 2013, The Sullivans provided medical assistance to an ill mariner on board the merchant vessel MV Abir Alqaray No. 4, a Saudi Arabian-flagged dhow, off the coast of Saudi Arabia.[12]

On 18 July 2015, a RIM-67 Standard missile test fired from The Sullivans exploded just after launch. No injuries were reported but a small fire occurred on deck. Malfunctions of solid-fuel missiles in the U.S. Navy are extremely rare.[13]

In early November 2017, USS The Sullivans pulled into port in New York City, and its crew was given shore leave to celebrate Veterans' Day in the city.

Al-Qaeda bombing plot

Members of al-Qaeda attempted an attack on The Sullivans while in port at Aden, Yemen on 3 January 2000 as a part of the 2000 millennium attack plots. The plan was to load a boat full of explosives and explode near The Sullivans. However the boat was so overladen that it sank, forcing the attack to be abandoned. Later, al-Qaeda tried the same type of attack a second time, successfully bombing USS Cole on 12 October 2000.[14][15]


  1. ^ Ship's Crest.
  2. ^ Wright, Lawrence, The Looming Tower Vintage Books, 2006. pg. 339
  3. ^ "A New Navy Destroyer Honors Victims of a Wartime Tragedy at Sea", The New York Times. McFadden. 20 April 1997.
  4. ^ Naval Vessel Register. DDG-68.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j DDG-68 History. via web archive dated February 2005.
  6. ^ Pike, John. "COMPTUEX - Composite Training Unit Exercise". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  7. ^ "John F. Kennedy (CVA-67)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  8. ^ Ewing, Philip (18 May 2010). "The Sullivans CO fired in wake of buoy strike". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  9. ^ Fellman, Sam (7 September 2011). "Destroyer CO sacked after ship fired on boat". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  10. ^ Vergakis, Brock (21 August 2012). "Report: Navy commander removed after sexual harassment claims". NORFOLK, Va. Associated Press. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  11. ^ Stewart, Joshua (8 May 2012). "The Sullivans skipper relieved of command". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  12. ^ Lt. j.g. Paul Moe, USN (4 September 2013). "USS The Sullivans Provides Assistance to Saudi Dhows". NNS130904-02. USS The Sullivans Public Affairs. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  13. ^ Sam LaGrone, July 22, 2015 "Destroyer USS The Sullivans Damaged After Missile Explodes After Launch, No Injuries Reported", Retrieved January 7, 2017
  14. ^ Federal Bureau of Investigation (2004). "Terrorism 2000/2001 2004–306-694". United States Government Printing Office. Retrieved 4 February 2015. (PDF version)
  15. ^ Piszkiewicz, Dennis (2003). Terrorism's war with America : a history. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 123. ISBN 0-275-97952-0.

External links

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri ( (listen); Arabic: عبد الرحيم النشيري‎; born January 5, 1965) is a Saudi Arabian citizen alleged to be the mastermind of the bombing of USS Cole and other maritime terrorist attacks. He is alleged to have headed al-Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf states prior to his capture in November 2002 by the CIA's Special Activities Division.Al-Nashiri was captured in Dubai in 2002 and held for four years in secret CIA prisons known as "black sites" in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland, Morocco, and Romania, before being transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. While being interrogated, al-Nashiri was waterboarded, a technique since classified as torture. In 2005 the CIA destroyed the tapes of Nashiri's waterboarding. In another incident he was naked and hooded and threatened with a gun and a power drill to scare him into talking.

Al-Nashiri was granted victim status in 2010 by the Polish government and a Polish prosecutor began "investigating the possible abuse of power by Polish public officials with regard to a CIA black site" in 2008.In December 2008, al-Nashiri was charged by the United States before a Guantanamo Military Commission. The charges were dropped in February 2009 and reinstated in 2011. As of 2011, al-Nashiri is on trial before a military tribunal in Guantanamo on charges of war crimes that carry the death penalty. As it is extremely unlikely he would be freed if found not guilty, his lawyers have called the proceeding a show trial.In April 2019, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated all orders issued by Air Force Colonel Vance Spath, the presiding military judge over al-Nashiri's case from November 2015, on the grounds that Spath had failed to properly disclose his ongoing employment negotiations with the Department of Justice to al-Nashiri.


Al-Qaeda (; Arabic: القاعدة‎ al-Qāʿidah, IPA: [ælqɑːʕɪdɐ], translation: "The Base", "The Foundation" or "The Database", alternatively spelled al-Qaida and al-Qa'ida) is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, and several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet–Afghan War.Al-Qaeda operates as a network of Islamic extremists and Salafist jihadists. The organization has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, India, and various other countries (see below). Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on non-military and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the 2002 Bali bombings. The United States government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror", which sought to undermine al-Qaeda and its allies. The deaths of key leaders, including that of Osama bin Laden, have led al-Qaeda's operations to shift from the top down organization and planning of attacks, to the planning of attacks which are carried out by associated groups and lone-wolf operators. Al-Qaeda characteristically employs attacks which include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of several targets. Activities which are ascribed to al-Qaeda involve the actions of those who have made a pledge of loyalty to bin Laden, or to the actions of "al-Qaeda-linked" individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or Sudan. Al-Qaeda ideologues envision the removal of all foreign influences in Muslim countries, and the creation of a new caliphate ruling over the entire Muslim world.Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam. As Salafist jihadists, members of al-Qaeda believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned. This belief ignores the aspects of religious scripture which forbid the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting. Al-Qaeda also opposes what it regards as man-made laws, and wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law.Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on targets which it considers kafir. Al-Qaeda is also responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims. Al-Qaeda's leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias, Sufis and other sects as heretical and its members and sympathizers have attacked their mosques and gatherings. Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings.Following the death of bin Laden in 2011, the group has been led by Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Bath Iron Works

Bath Iron Works (BIW) is a major United States shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine, founded in 1884 as Bath Iron Works, Limited. BIW has built private, commercial, and military vessels, most of which have been ordered by the United States Navy. The shipyard has built and sometimes designed battleships, frigates, cruisers, and destroyers, including the Arleigh Burke class which are currently among the world's most advanced surface warships.

Since 1995, Bath Iron Works has been a subsidiary of General Dynamics, the fifth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2008. During World War II, ships built at BIW were considered to be of superior toughness by sailors and Navy officials, giving rise to the phrase "Bath-built is best-built."

Carrier Strike Group 2

Carrier Strike Group 2 (CSG-2 or CARSTRKGRU 2) is a U.S. Navy carrier strike group, tracing its history originally to 1931. The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush is the strike group's current flagship. In June 2015, other units assigned to Carrier Strike Group 2 included the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Eight; the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58); and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG-103), USS Roosevelt (DDG-80), and USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) from Destroyer Squadron 22.The group traces its history to the creation of Carrier Division 2 on 1 April 1931. The group took its current form on 1 October 2004. On 29 July 2010, Rear Admiral Nora W. Tyson assumed command of the group, becoming the first woman to command a U.S. Navy carrier task group. The group's 2011 Mediterranean deployment marked the maiden deployment for the carrier USS George H.W. Bush and the guided-missile destroyer Truxtun. The group's units were the first U.S. naval forces to participate in Operation Inherent Resolve, the 2014 U.S.-led multi-lateral air campaign against the Islamic State group.

Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

Commander, Naval Surface Force, Atlantic (COMNAVSURFLANT) is a post within the United States Fleet Forces Command. As Naval Surface Force Atlantic, it is a military formation, but the organization is often known as SURFLANT. Its headquarters are at the Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia. The current commander is Rear Admiral Jesse Wilson. COMNAVSURFLANT supervises all surface ships based on the Eastern United States and Gulf Coast of the United States, as well as ships forwarded deployed to Naval Station Rota, Spain.

Guided missile destroyer

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.

In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

List of equipment of the United States Navy

The Equipment of the United States Navy have been subdivided into: watercraft, aircraft, munitions, vehicles, and small arms.

Naval Station Mayport

Naval Station Mayport (IATA: NRB, ICAO: KNRB, FAA LID: NRB) is a major United States Navy base in Jacksonville, Florida. It contains a protected harbor that can accommodate aircraft carrier-size vessels, ship's intermediate maintenance activity (SIMA) and a military airfield (Admiral David L. McDonald Field) with one asphalt paved runway (5/23) measuring 8,001 ft × 200 ft (2,439 m × 61 m).

Sullivan brothers

The five Sullivan brothers were World War II sailors who, serving together on the light cruiser USS Juneau, were all killed in action on its sinking around November 13, 1942.

The five brothers, the sons of Thomas (1883–1965) and Alleta Sullivan (1895–1972) of Waterloo, Iowa, were:

George Thomas Sullivan, 27 (born December 14, 1914), Gunner's Mate Second Class (George had been previously discharged in May 1941 as Gunner's Mate Third Class.)

Francis Henry "Frank" Sullivan, 26 (born February 18, 1916), Coxswain (Frank had been previously discharged in May 1941 as Seaman First Class.)

Joseph Eugene "Joe" Sullivan, 24 (born August 28, 1918), Seaman Second Class

Madison Abel "Matt" Sullivan, 23 (born November 8, 1919), Seaman Second Class

Albert Leo "Al" Sullivan, 20 (born July 8, 1922), Seaman Second Class

USS The Sullivans

USS The Sullivans may refer to:

USS The Sullivans (DD-537), is a Fletcher-class destroyer, launched in 1943, decommissioned in 1965 and donated in 1977 to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park and serves as a museum ship

USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer launched in 1995 and currently in service

United States ship naming conventions

United States ship naming conventions for the U.S. Navy were established by Congressional action at least as early as 1862. Title Thirteen, Chapter Six, of the United States Code, enacted in that year, reads, in part,

The vessels of the Navy shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy under direction of the President according to the following rule:

Sailing-vessels of the first class shall be named after the States of the Union, those of the second class after the rivers, those of the third class after the principal cities and towns and those of the fourth class as the President may direct.

Further clarification was made by executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. However, elements had existed since before his time. If a ship is reclassified, for example a destroyer is converted to a mine layer, it retains its original name.

Flight I ships
Flight II ships
Flight IIA ships
Flight III ships


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