Monday, July 23 , 2018, 3:41 am | Fair 68º

 
 
 
 

Local News

USS Stockdale Arriving Tuesday at Naval Base Ventura County

Navy's newest ship, adopted by Santa Barbara Navy League, will be commissioned during this week's port call

The USS Stockdale (DDG 106), the Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, will be dropping anchor in Ventura County this week. The ship is due to arrive at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme around 10 a.m. Tuesday for a week of festivities.

The ship, which has been adopted by the Santa Barbara Navy League, will be commissioned during a formal ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, with Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, as the keynote speaker and H. Ross Perot as the event’s honorary chairman. An estimated 100 Vietnam veterans and former prisoners of war, Medal of Honor recipients and family members are attending this historic commissioning and the surrounding events.

Named after the late Navy Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale, a Vietnam War hero and Perot’s vice-presidential candidate in 1992, the fast warship will provide multimission offensive and defensive capabilities. As the first destroyer named for the Navy’s highest ranking POW, the ship embodies the spirit and patriotism of Stockdale, himself a Medal of Honor recipient. The crew of the USS Stockdale, and all who support this endeavor, will join together to become a powerful symbol of a strong united America, guided by the ship’s motto, “Return With Honor.”

The Ventura/Santa Barbara visit is fitting for the commissioning ceremony as the Santa Barbara Council of the Navy League of the United States was invited to adopt the USS Stockdale in October. As the adopting council, the Santa Barbara Navy League’s role is to support the ship’s commissioning ceremony, fund ship “enhancements” so the crew has a touch of home while at sea, and provide support to the crew and its families.

“This visit by one of our Navy’s newest and latest designed ships to California’s Central Coast is not only very exciting, but it also helps serve the need to celebrate and honor the tremendous service to our nation by Admiral James Bond Stockdale, the NAM-POWs, and all of our Vietnam era veterans,” said Karen Crawford, Santa Barbara Navy League president.

The ship’s crew of more than 250 men and women will be welcomed to Ventura/Santa Barbara with a series of activities and events. Click here for more information.

Tuesday: USS Stockdale arrives in Ventura Harbor at approximately 10 a.m. The Oxnard High Marching Band will welcome the ship’s crew at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme. Between 5 and 9 p.m., more than 100 sailors will enjoy an evening “On The Town” along State Street, compliments of the Navy League.

Wednesday: Uniformed crew members of the USS Stockdale will participate in Ventura-area community service projects, including helping to build a Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County home for a local veteran.

Friday: USS Stockdale crew members will suit up in a softball game against the Santa Barbara Fire Department at Pershing Park, 299 Castillo St., from 5 to 8 p.m.

Saturday: USS Stockdale commissioning ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at Port Hueneme, followed by a POW barbecue at 1 p.m. at Bard Mansion on Naval Base Ventura County.

The Santa Barbara Navy League is a civilian nonprofit, nonpolitical organization dedicated to supporting the men, women and families of the sea services; educating our nation and nation’s leaders about the needs of our maritime nation; supporting youth service programs; and adopting ships and units to help improve their quality of life and to show our appreciation and respect for the work they do as they wear our nation’s cloth. Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Navy League.

Doug Crawford is public affairs officer of the Santa Barbara Navy League.

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