PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- PCU Kidd (DDG-100), the newest member of the Arleigh Burke-class of AEGIS destroyers, passed a milestone Feb. 26 as crew members crossed the brow and boarded their new warship for the first time.
"'Crew Move Aboard' is one the most important milestones in the history of Kidd. This is the day where this ship ceases to be just 9,000 tons of steel, electronics and machinery. DDG 100 truly becomes a ship of war when the Sailors assembled here take the ship and make it their own," said Kidd's commanding officer, Cmdr. Richard E. Thomas.
The day began with the crew gathering in front of the office building at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) Shipyard, an office out of which they had worked for the previous two years. They then marched to the pier for a brief ceremony.
"There is more blood, sweat and tears in this ship than any destroyer before," Kevin Jarvis, vice president of Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships DDG 51 Programs said to the crew. "She has already been tested by the forces of nature and sits behind us today as a testament to the fortitude of the shipbuilders and crew."
The crew, eager to get to sea, faced a yearlong delay in construction caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The final moment of the ceremony witnessed the unfurling of a 48-star flag in honor of Rear Adm. Isaac C. Kidd Sr., the ship's namesake, who died defending Pearl Harbor during the 1941 Japanese attack. The unfurling of the flag marked the first official quarterdeck watch being set and members of the crew began crossing the brow.
There were a lot of firsts for the crew: first quarterdeck watch, first morning colors, first meal served and first in-port emergency drill. The significance of the day was not lost on the crewmembers.
"It's been very exciting - good food, more responsibilities, and longer days - finally we are a ship. Everyone is looking out for each other," said Seaman Recruit Joshua Becker.
"Morale is high, everyone is energetic, and the ship is a bit hectic. It didn't hit me [that] we were a ship until I was in the chow line for the first time surrounded by my friends and having fun," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Anthony Garcia.
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