Delbert D. Black

The U.S. Navy commissioned the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, September 26, 2020, in Port Canaveral, Florida.

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)
Navy commissioned guided missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)

Due to public health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning was a private event, rather than the traditional public commissioning ceremony.

The ceremony’s principal speaker was Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russel L. Smith.

«Commissioning a ship after the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy is an honor without equal. The Navy has always been and will always be indelibly influenced by the leadership of our senior enlisted sailors epitomized by Delbert Black», said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. «They are the ones who teach both our junior enlisted as well as our junior officers what it means to lead. They lay the keel by which the Navy operates and as such this ship named for one of the most influential master chiefs ever to wear three stars will be a visible reminder of their importance to our Navy. As MCPON, Master Chief Black fought for increased sea-pay, family support programs, expanded uniform guidance and a host of other issues that improved the quality of life of not only junior enlisted, but all sailors and officers. By making life better for sailors, he made our Navy stronger for us all. This ship will undoubtedly continue on his great legacy of service above self».

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) is named for the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, the highest possible enlisted rank and the enlisted representative to the Chief of Naval Operations. Established by the Navy in 1967, Black oversaw the establishment of the senior enlisted advisor position, which eventually became known as Command Master Chief. Black was the first Navy enlisted man to receive the Distinguished Service Medal. Upon retirement from active duty, Black continued his involvement with the Navy through retired and active duty organizations. He still serves as an enduring example for the Chief’s Mess, with his service, character and performance demonstrating the highest ideals of a Navy chief petty officer in the world’s finest Navy.

Mrs. Ima Black, MCPON Delbert D. Black’s widow and a former sailor, served as the ship’s sponsor. Mrs. Black served during World War II in the Navy WAVES – Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. During the time-honored ceremony, Mrs. Black gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life».

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) is the 68th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to be delivered to the U.S. Navy and the first to bear his name. 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.

Following commissioning, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) will be homeported in Mayport, Florida, with sister ships USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), USS Lassen (DDG-82), USS Farragut (DDG-99), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) and USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117).



Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos




Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW