USS Winston S. Churchill

USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer of the United States Navy. She is named after Sir Winston Churchill, the renowned former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This ship is the 31st destroyer of her class. Winston S. Churchill was the 18th ship of this class to be built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and construction began on 7 May 1998. She was launched and christened on 17 April 1999. On 10 March 2001, she was commissioned during a ceremony at Town Point Park in Norfolk, Virginia.

USS Winston S. Churchill
USS Winston S. Churchill
United States
Name: USS Winston S. Churchill
Namesake: Winston S. Churchill
Ordered: 6 January 1995
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 7 May 1998
Launched: 17 April 1999
Commissioned: 10 March 2001
Motto: "In war: Resolution; In peace: Good Will"
Status: in active service
Badge: USS Winston Churchill DDG-81 Crest
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
Displacement: 9,200 tons (9,350 t)
Length: 509.5 ft (155.3 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 100,000 shp (75 MW)
Speed: exceeds 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 32 officers, 348 enlisted
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 × SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters


Churchill portrait NYP 45063
Sir Winston Spencer-Churchill

On 29 November 1995, on a visit to the United Kingdom, President Bill Clinton announced to Parliament that the new ship would be named after Sir Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She was the first destroyer and only the fourth United States Navy warship named after a British citizen, and the first since 1976 named after a non-U.S. citizen, though Churchill was an honorary U.S. citizen and his mother was American.

Other U.S. warships named after Britons were Alfred, an armed merchantman named after King Alfred the Great; Raleigh, a continental frigate, named after Sir Walter Raleigh (though three later USS Raleighs—and two Confederate warships—would be named after the North Carolina city, which did not exist at the time) and Effingham, named after The 3rd Earl of Effingham who resigned his commission rather than fight the colonists during the American Revolutionary War. The former frigate Harold E. Holt was also named after a person from a country in the Commonwealth of Nations, Harold Holt, the Australian Prime Minister who is presumed to have drowned in 1967. However, this is the first ship to be named after a modern British hero, or British prime minister.


The ship is the first of the Flight IIA variants fitted with the 62-caliber Mark 45 Mod 4 naval gun system. The guns' longer barrels allow more complete combustion of the propellant, reducing barrel flare and improving projectile velocity and firepower against ship and shore targets; additionally, the Mk 45 mod 4 uses a modified gun-house, designed to reduce its radar signature. Winston S. Churchill is armed with Tomahawk, Standard and ASROC (VLA) missiles.[1]

The vessel additionally contains two hangars, not present in earlier destroyers; these can house Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. These LAMPS can be fitted with air-to-surface missiles for surface ship attacks, and torpedoes for submarine attacks.

The ship is also fitted with the AN/SPY-1D phased array radar—this represents a significant advancement in the detection capabilities of the Aegis weapon system and provides enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures. The radar can guide more than one hundred missiles at once to targets as far as 600 nautical miles (1,100 km; 690 mi).

Service history

The contract to build Winston S. Churchill was awarded to the Bath Iron Works Corporation on 6 January 1995, and the keel was laid down on 7 May 1998. Winston S. Churchill was launched on 17 April 1999, delivered 13 October 2000, and commissioned 10 March 2001. The launch and christening of the ship was co-sponsored by Lady Soames, the daughter of Winston Churchill, and Mrs. Janet Cohen, wife of the Secretary of Defense. Her first commanding officer was Commander (now Vice Admiral) Michael T. Franken.[2]

Flickr - Official U.S. Navy Imagery - A Royal navy Lt. check and record readings at the navigation table.
A Royal Navy officer assists on the bridge

Winston S. Churchill is the only U.S. Navy vessel to have a Royal Navy Officer permanently assigned to the ship's company (usually a Navigation Officer).[3] The U.S. Navy had a permanent U.S. Navy Officer on the Royal Navy ship, HMS Marlborough, until her decommission on 8 July 2005. Winston S. Churchill is also the only U.S. Naval vessel to fly a foreign ensign. Being named after a Briton, the Royal Navy's White Ensign is honorarily flown on special occasions from the ship's mast, on the port side, whereas the U.S. flag is flown from the starboard side.[4][5][6] However, during normal operations, only the U.S. flag is flown on the center of the main mast.[7][8]

On 14 May 2001, Winston S. Churchill underwent shock trials off the coast of Florida. These trials subjected the ship to several close-range underwater detonations, each consisting of 7 tons of high explosives, and were performed to collect data concerning ship survivability and damage resistance in a modern threat environment. Winston S. Churchill sustained minor damage during these three tests.[9] On 14 September 2001, (three days after the 11 September 2001 attacks), the German Navy destroyer Lütjens passed close abeam Winston S. Churchill and rendered honors by manning the rails, flying the Stars and Stripes at half-mast, and the display of a banner reading "We Stand By You." An e-mail sent by an ensign on board Winston S. Churchill described the occasion.[10][11]

In January 2003, Winston S. Churchill deployed with the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group in support of the Iraq War's Operation Iraqi Freedom, firing several Tomahawk missiles. Winston S. Churchill returned to Norfolk at the end of May 2003.

On 22 August 2005, Winston S. Churchill was involved in a minor collision with the destroyer USS McFaul off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Both ships suffered minor damage, and no injuries were reported. Both ships returned to their homeport at Naval Station Norfolk under their own power.[12]

On 22 January 2006 Winston S. Churchill captured a suspected pirate vessel in the Indian Ocean as part of an ongoing effort to help maintain law and order in the region.[13]

On 26 September 2010, Winston S. Churchill came across a disabled skiff in the Gulf of Aden. After attempts to repair the skiff's engines failed Winston S. Churchill took the vessel under tow towards Somalia. On 27 September the skiff sank when the 85 passengers rushed to one side of the skiff during a food delivery causing the vessel to capsize.[14] Winston S. Churchill was able to rescue 61 of the passengers and continued towards Somalia on 28 September.[15]

Her homeport is currently Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. She is currently a part of Carrier Strike Group 12

Coat of arms



The shield features an inescutcheon of his ancestral coat of arms and the cross of St. George.

The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. Red signifies sacrifice and valor. The cross of St. George and the fleur-de-lis are from Churchill's augmentation from his ancestor's coat of arms. The red cross on the white field is a reference to the flag of St. George. The gold lion over the field of red is a reference to the heritage of Great Britain. The lion shows strength, courage and determination. The nebuly is representative to the sky and clouds, which recall Britain enduring German airpower in the Battle of Britain. Winston Churchill's reputation of an inspiring war leader, talented statesman, orator and author is referred to by the stylized book.


The crest consists of a trident encompassed by a chevron, laurel and oak.

The trident is a symbol for sea prowess and represents the ship's vertical launch capabilities. The tridents tines denote air, surface, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. A chevron divides the trident which suggests a “V” to signify victory in way and strength of defense in peace. The laurel symbolizes honor and achievement while the oak represents strength and resolve.


The motto is written on a double scroll of red that has a white reverse side.

The ship's motto, "In war: Resolution. In peace: Good Will," is taken from the epigraph of Churchill's The Second World War.[16]


The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS Winston S. Churchill" at the top and "DDG 81" in the base all gold.


This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.

  1. ^ Kennedy, Harold (April 2001). "USS Churchill Shows Off High-Tech Gear". National Defense Magazine. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Vice Admiral Michael T. Franken, Deputy Commander for Military Operations U.S. Africa Command". US Navy. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Harold (April 2001). "USS Churchill Shows Off High-Tech Gear". National Defense. NDIA. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2007. She also is the only U.S. Navy ship to have a British Royal Navy officer permanently assigned as a member of the ship’s company. Lieutenant Angus Essenhigh, RN, of Portsmouth, England, is serving as ship’s navigator during his two-year tour of duty.
  4. ^ File:USS Churchill mast.jpg
  5. ^ File:USS Winston_S. Churchill (DDG_81) English Channel.jpg
  6. ^ File:USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) high speed run.jpg
  7. ^ File:Flickr - Official U.S. Navy Imagery - A VBSS team departs USS Winston S. Churchill..jpg
  8. ^ File:010822-N-6967M-503 DDG 81 At Sea.jpg
  9. ^ "DDG 81 Winston Churchill". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  10. ^ United States Navy (2001). "This is an e-mail from an Ensign stationed aboard the ship during the UK deployment". Archived from the original on 29 December 2005. Retrieved 15 March 2006.
  11. ^ File:LutjensHonors.jpg
  12. ^ "USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) Collision". Damage Control Museum. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Suspected Pirates Captured Off Somali Coast" (Press release). Headquarters, United States Central Command. 22 January 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2006.
  14. ^ Mười ba thuyền nhân Phi Châu chết đuối (in Vietnamese)
  15. ^ "Tragic end to US rescue bid off Somali coast". BBC News. 28 September 2010.
  16. ^ Churchill, Winston (1948). The Gathering Storm. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-41055-X.

Further reading

External links

2006 in piracy

See also:

2005 in piracy,

other events of 2006,

2007 in piracy and the

list of 'years of Piracy'.

Carrier Strike Group 8

Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8, abbreviated as CCSG-8 or COMCARSTRKGRU 8, is one of five U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the United States Fleet Forces Command. Carrier strike groups gain and maintain sea control as well as project naval airpower ashore.As of 2018 the group flagship is the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). The other units of the group are the guided-missile cruiser USS Hué City (CG-66), Carrier Air Wing One, and the ships of Destroyer Squadron 28.

Destroyer Squadron 2

Destroyer Squadron 2 is a destroyer squadron of the United States Navy. It is administratively part of Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic. As of 2012, the following destroyers are assigned to this squadron: USS Forrest Sherman, USS James E. Williams, USS Winston S. Churchill, USS Porter, USS Mahan, USS Mitscher, and USS Laboon. Destroyer Squadron 2 is assigned to Carrier Strike Group Twelve.

Destroyer Squadron 50

Destroyer Squadron 50 (DESRON 50) is a Destroyer squadron of the United States Navy. The squadron was first formed during the Second World War when the squadron commodore and his staff led ships in the Pacific Theater from October 1943 until its disestablishment in November 1945. The squadron was equipped with nine Fletcher class destroyers, comprising Destroyer Divisions (DesDivs) 99 and 100.For much of 1944, the squadron operated together with Admiral Marc Mitscher’s Fast Carrier Task Force, screening USS Enterprise (CV-6) and a number of other carriers in Rear Admiral John W. Reeves’ Task Group during the Marshall Islands and Marianas operations. It participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, 19–20 June 1944.

The squadron was reestablished on 30 November 1994 during ceremonies aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). Captain David M. Stone took command of the squadron, 49 years after it stood down in the Pacific. It appears to be based at Manama, Bahrain alongside the rest of the United States Fifth Fleet (FIFTHFLT) headquarters.

Commander Middle East Force (MEF) also served as Commander Destroyer Squadron 50 until MEF's formal disestablishment in 2012-2013. Cruisers, destroyers, and frigates deployed to the region, usually about five at a time, to form the Middle East Force. They perform Maritime Interception Operations (MIO), participate in regional exercises, and serve during contingencies. They deploy as either the LANTMEF (Atlantic Marine Expeditionary Force) or PACMEF (Pacific MEF). While in the region, they are coordinated in Fifth Fleet by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 50.

USS David R. Ray (DD-971) deployed to the Persian Gulf in October 1994 and served as Flagship to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 50 conducted Maritime Interception Operations in boarding numerous suspect vessels resulting in the diversion and detention of three vessels.

Under Operational Command of Commander Fifth Fleet, COMDESRON 50 was the Multi-National Interdiction Operations (MIO) Commander for an area in the Persian Gulf, referred to as the NAG patrol area, working in company with American, Canadian and other naval forces providing around the clock surveillance and enforcement of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Many of the vessels to be boarded are smaller Indian Cargo dhows or Mandi kutches of approximately 250 - 500 tons. Though small in size, the cargo dhows presented many unique problems to the boarding parties, primarily limited access to cargo holds and more importantly, a distinct language barrier.

The frigate USS Jarrett (FFG-33) participated in a combined naval exercise between the United States and a friendly gulf nation's forces in January 1995. Under the direction of Commander in Chief U.S. Central Command (CINCCENT) and the direct tasking of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Jarrett conducted exercises with three naval ships of a host Arabian nation. Jarrett, home ported in San Diego, was deployed in the Persian Gulf under the operational control of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 50. Jarrett was taking part in Operation Southern Watch under Commander, Middle East Force. The intent of the exercises was to improve the readiness and interoperability between the United States and friendly naval forces.

USS O'Brien (DD-975) returned home 28 August 1998, following a lengthy Middle East Force deployment. O'Brien was assigned various missions during its three and a half month stay in the Persian Gulf. In mid-April the ship participated in the multinational exercise "Neon Spark 98" with British and Bahraini units, serving as flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadron 50.

The naval control of shipping Exercise Lucky Mariner 13 (LM13) began on November 30, 2012, and included eight time zones, multiple countries, agencies and U.S. Army participation. Commander Task Forces (CTF) 50, 53, 55 and 57, all components of the U.S. 5th Fleet, also

participated in LM13. USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) served as the flagship for the exercise, hosting Commander Destroyer Squadron 50. The annual exercise between U.S. Navy forces, Royal Navy forces, coalition observers, and Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS), a component of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, is aimed at testing the U.S. NCAGS machinery. It flexs the mobilization and expeditionary nature of NCAGS while integrating with the Maritime Liaison Office, United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization, U.S. Maritime Administration and the commercial shipping industry.

Winston S. Churchill joined Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth (F235), Military Sealift Command ammunition ship USNS Flint (T-AE-32) and merchant vessels M/V Arcturus Voyager and Maron Castor for a convoy training exercise, acting as an active test of NCAGS principles.

On July 3, 2013, U.S. Navy officials told the United States Naval Institute that in an era of tightening budgets and with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the need for as many large ships, like Arleigh Burke class destroyers, in the Fifth Fleet is less. Destroyer Squadron 50 and Combined Task Force 55 (DESRON 50/CTF-55) commander Captain Joseph Naman said that "..[O]ur numbers of DDGs we have out here have declined over the past year." Patrol craft are taking up a lot of their previous missions. However Naman said destroyers would still remain : "..[T]hey still have a mission here.”

By 2014, the Navy will have ten Cyclone-class patrol ships homeported in Bahrain to operate in the Persian Gulf and as far afield as the Gulf of Oman, Captain Naman said. The ships have a range of missions including providing security for infrastructure, like off-shore oil platforms, as well as providing close-in protection for larger ships such as destroyers. Three ships — USS Tempest (PC-2), USS Squall (PC-7), and USS Thunderbolt (PC-12) — arrived in Bahrain on July 3, 2013, to increase the total number of ships to eight. Two more ships — USS Hurricane (PC-3) and USS Monsoon (PC-4) — will arrive by mid-2014.

Exchange officer

An exchange officer is a commissioned officer in a country's armed forces who is temporarily seconded either to a unit of the armed forces of another country or to another branch of the armed forces of their own country.The exchange officer will usually perform all duties as if he or she were actually in the armed forces to which they are attached. This includes going to war, if required, although for international exchange officers this generally requires that permission be granted from their home government, and that other conditions may be attached. The stated purpose of an exchange officer programme is usually to help foster understanding of each other's operating methods. This provides valuable feedback so that any issues that crop up in joint operations, such as those done under NATO, would not impede the achievement of mission objectives. Exchange officers usually serve in similar roles to those that their career path would take if they were to remain in the armed forces of their home state.

The British and the U.S. armed services have many exchange officers; for example, a British officer has been attached to the United States Military Academy at West Point for many years. The Australian Army also attaches one of its officers with the rank of captain to the Royal Military College of Malaysia. Though the Canadian government was stated to be neutral with regards to the Iraq War, many Canadians fought in Iraq under exchange with the U.S. military.

German destroyer Lütjens

The German destroyer Lütjens was the lead ship of her class, a modified version of the American Charles F. Adams class, built for the Bundesmarine (West German Navy) during the 1960s.

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.

HMS Churchill

One ship and one submarine of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Churchill after Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II:

HMS Churchill (I45) was launched in 1919 as the United States Navy Clemson-class destroyer USS Herndon. She served in the United States Coast Guard as CG-17 and was transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS Churchill in 1940. She was transferred to the Soviet Navy as Деятельный, Deyatelny (English: "active") and sunk in action in 1945.

HMS Churchill (S46), launched in 1968, was the first of three Churchill-class submarine nuclear fleet submarines. She was decommissioned in 1991.Battle honours

Atlantic 1941-44.

HMS Marlborough (F233)

HMS Marlborough was a Duke-class Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, and the sixth ship to bear the name. She was named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. The ship entered service with the Royal Navy in 1991 and served in the Middle East. The frigate was taken out of service in 2005 and sold to Chile. The vessel entered service with the Chilean Navy in 2008 as Almirante Condell. The ship remains in service.

Holly Graf

Holly Ann Graf is a retired United States Navy officer. Until January 2010 she was commanding officer of the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG-63), a major surface combatant vessel of the fleet. She was the first woman to command a cruiser in the history of the U.S. Navy. Earlier, she had been the first woman in the U.S. Navy to command a destroyer when she served as skipper of the guided missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81). Her personal decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, among others. Graf was relieved of command for abusive behavior unbecoming of an officer and was featured in Time magazine that characterized her as a modern-day female "Captain Bligh." The U.S. Navy forced Graf into early retirement in 2012, but allowed her to do so at her current rank of captain and under "honorable circumstances."

International Festival of the Sea, 2001

The International Festival of the Sea, 2001 was held at H.M. Naval Base, Portsmouth between 24 and 27 August 2001. It was the third in a series of International Festivals of the Sea held in the United Kingdom since 1996. The event allowed people to walk around the Naval Base, to go on board many of the visiting vessels, including several vessels belonging to the Royal Navy. It also allowed people to visit the historic dockyard, including HMS Victory and Mary Rose. There were also many maritime displays, street entertainers, military bands, music concerts and unique shops.

According to the event's patron, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, the festival was a "celebration of all things maritime".

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.

Manning the rail

Manning the rail is a method of saluting or rendering honors used by naval vessels. The custom evolved from that of manning the yards, which dates from the days of sail. On sailing ships, men stood evenly spaced on all the yards (the spars holding the sails) and gave three cheers to honor distinguished persons. Today the crew are stationed along the rails and superstructure of a ship when honors are rendered.

The United States Navy prescribes manning the rail as a possible honor to render to the President of the United States and for the heads of state of foreign nations. A similar but less formal ceremony is to have the crew "at quarters" when the ship is entering or leaving port.Manning the rail is also the traditional way to honor the USS Arizona Memorial when it is passed by all U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Merchant Marine vessels. More recently, as foreign military vessels are entering Pearl Harbor for joint military exercises, foreign sailors have participated in the traditional manning the rails. Other notable instances occurred on July 24th 1997 when the guided missile destroyer Ramage and frigate Halyburton rendered honors to the Constitution during her 200th birthday celebration, and on September 14, 2001, when the crew of the German destroyer Lütjens manned the rails as they approached the destroyer USS Winston Churchill and displayed an American flag and a banner reading "We Stand By You".


A motto (derived from the Latin muttum, 'mutter', by way of Italian motto, 'word', 'sentence') is a maxim; a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of an individual, family, social group or organization. Mottos are usually found predominantly in written form (unlike slogans, which may also be expressed orally), and may stem from long traditions of social foundations, or from significant events, such as a civil war or a revolution. A motto may be in any language, but Latin has been widely used, especially in the Western world.

Naval Station Norfolk

Naval Station Norfolk, is a United States Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia. It supports naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean. The installation occupies about 4 miles (6.4 km) of waterfront space and 11 miles (18 km) of pier and wharf space of the Hampton Roads peninsula known as Sewell's Point. It is the world's largest naval station, with the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces through 75 ships alongside 14 piers and with 134 aircraft and 11 aircraft hangars at the adjacently operated Chambers Field and Port Services controls more than 3,100 ships' movements annually as they arrive and depart their berths.

Air Operations conducts over 100,000 flight operations each year, an average of 275 flights per day or one every six minutes. Over 150,000 passengers and 264,000 tons of mail and cargo depart annually on Air Mobility Command (AMC) aircraft and other AMC-chartered flights from the airfield's AMC Terminal.

USS McFaul

USS McFaul (DDG-74) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named for U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Donald L. McFaul. This ship is the 24th destroyer of her class. USS McFaul was the 11th ship of this class to be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and construction began on 26 January 1996. She was launched on 18 January 1997 and was christened on 12 April 1997. On 25 April 1998 she had her commissioning ceremony at the Garden City Terminal in Savannah, Georgia.

USS Oscar Austin

USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. Oscar Austin is named for Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipient Private First Class Oscar P. Austin. This ship is the 29th destroyer of her class. USS Oscar Austin was the 17th ship of this class to be built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and construction began on 9 October 1997. She was launched and christened on 7 November 1998. On 19 August 2000 she was commissioned at Bath, Maine.

White Ensign

The White Ensign, at one time called the St George's Ensign due to the simultaneous existence of a cross-less version of the flag, is an ensign flown on British Royal Navy ships and shore establishments. It consists of a red St George's Cross on a white field with the Union Flag in the upper canton.

The White Ensign is also flown by yachts of members of the Royal Yacht Squadron and by ships of Trinity House escorting the reigning monarch.

In addition to the United Kingdom, several other nations have variants of the White Ensign with their own national flags in the canton, with the St George's Cross sometimes being replaced by a naval badge omitting the cross altogether. Yachts of the Royal Irish Yacht Club fly a white ensign with an Irish tricolour in the first quadrant and defaced by the crowned harp from the Heraldic Badge of Ireland. The Flag of the British Antarctic Territory and the Commissioners' flag of the Northern Lighthouse Board place the Union emblem in the first quarter of a white field, omitting the overall red St George's Cross, but are not ensigns for use at sea.

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


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