The USS Halsey is scheduled to arrive Sept. 7 and depart Sept. 10 (dates are approximate and subject to change due to weather or call of duty).
“The Santa Barbara Navy League is honored to host a visit from the USS Halsey (DDG 97) to our beautiful city,” said Patricia Westberg, president of the Santa Barbara Navy League. “The commanding officer and his crew are very excited about having a port call in Santa Barbara and look forward to meeting our community members through a series of planned events and liberty in town.
“These fine young men and women in uniform are the epitome of hard work, dedication and sacrifice through rigorous training and long deployments, globally to ensure our freedom and protect our way of life here in the United States. Enjoy these sailors as they embrace our community and return to their home port with a seabag full of memories that will last a lifetime.”
The USS Halsey (DDG 97) is the 47th ship in the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class of Aegis-guided missile destroyers — the Navy’s most powerful destroyer fleet. These highly capable, multimission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of National Military Strategy.
The mission of Halsey is to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, providing primary protection for the Navy’s aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships, and independent operations as necessary. DDG 97 will be capable of fighting of air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
Leaders from the Navy, the USS Halsey and the Navy League of the United States will include Cmdr. Mike Weeldreyer, USN, commanding officer of the USS Halsey; Capt. John Steinberger, USN, commodore, Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE out of San Diego; and Phil Dunmire, national president of the Navy League of the United States.
Below is a summary of activities being presented by the Santa Barbara Navy League.
» Sept. 8, 9 a.m. to noon — Softball game at Pershing Field No. 2 with Halsey crew and Santa Barbara police and fire departments. Free and open to the public. No reservations needed.
» Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Ship tours. Free and open to the public. Must abide by ship tour requirements below. Advance reservations required at 805.963.3564 or by clicking here.
» Sept. 8, 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — Community service visit with seniors. Halsey Commanding Officer Cmdr. Mike Weeldreyer, USN, and sailors will visit seniors at Villa Santa Barbara, 227 E. Anapamu St., for lunch and social time with the residents. Lunch is private (service personnel and Villa Santa Barbara residents only), but the public is welcome to attend the free meet-and-greet starting at 12:30 p.m.
» Sept. 8, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. — Honor & Remember Reception. Opportunity for the public to greet the men and women of the USS Halsey at a cocktail reception on the rooftop terrace of the Reagan Ranch Center. Guests will enjoy delicious appetizers, wine, beverages and music. The cost is $50 for Navy League members and $60 for nonmembers. Click here to purchase tickets.
» Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Ship tours. Free and open to the public. Must abide by ship tour requirements below. Advance reservations required at 805.963.3564 or by clicking here.
Ship Tour Requirements
Must be older than age 8. Children ages 8 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Comfortable clothing; men and women in slacks; no dresses for women. Closed toe shoes. Small purses — no large bags or backpacks are allowed. Cameras are OK on board the ship.
Must be physically capable of climbing ladders/steep stairs as tour will be on multilevels; there is no wheelchair access or elevator. Those age 19 or older must show a government-issued picture ID (driver’s license, California ID card, military ID) when screened at Sea Landing before boarding water taxis.
—Melinda Johanssonn is a public affairs officer for the Santa Barbara Navy League.