USS WINSTON S. CHURCHILL
DDG 81
  
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The Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) is the U.S. Navy's 31st Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is the fourth American warship to be named in honor of an Englishman.

The keel was laid down on May 7, 1998, at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine; The ship was launched and christened on April 17, 1999. The Lady Soames, the daughter of Winston Churchill, and Mrs. Janet Cohen, wife of the Secretary of Defense, served as sponsors of the ship. Cmdr. Michael T. Franken is the prospective commanding officer.

March 10, 2001 USS Winston S. Churchill was commissioned during a ceremony at Town Point Park in downtown Norfolk, Va.

August 22, USS Winston S. Churchill pulled into Portsmouth, England, for an historic first visit. The guided-missile destroyer returned to Norfolk in late October.

April 20, 2002 Cmdr. Holly A. Graf relieved Cmdr. Michael T. Franken as CO of DDG 81.

July 16, USS Winston S. Churchill is back at her birthplace to receive a $25 million equipment upgrade after its maiden deployment. The ship returned to Bath Iron Works in May for the tune-up, known as the Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). The work comes after a first deployment to the United Kingdom and Norway. When complete, the Churchill will boast dozens of advanced systems, corrosion-control improvements, a rearranged Combat Information Center (CIC), an upgraded Passive Countermeasure System, the Naval Fires Control System (NFCS), and numerous improvements to the ship’s command and control, communications and computers (C4I) systems. The destroyer’s engineering department also will receive the new Fully Automated Digital Control/Redundant Independent Mechanical Starting System (FADC/RIMSS) to offer a more efficient way of starting the generators. In addition, there will be new decking, a self-service laundry, modifications to the Hazardous Materials Center, and other improvements.

September 24, The Churchill came to the aid of a 35-foot Bertram sport fishing boat in distress, about 40 miles off the coast of Currituck, N.C., while conducting flight deck-landing qualifications.

May 29, 2003 USS Winston S. Churchill returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a nearly five-month combat deployment, as part of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) CSG in the eastern Mediterranean, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

July 26, The Winston S. Churchill recently moored at Massport Black Falcon Cruise Ship Terminal in South Boston for a scheduled port visit.

November 8, 2004 The guided-missile destroyer pulled into Portsmouth, England, for a routine port visit after participating in the Royal Navy-sponsored Joint Maritime Course 043.

August 22, 2005 USS Winston S. Churchill colided with USS McFaul (DDG 74) while conducting training operations off the coast of Florida. Damage to Churchill included a 5x10 foot hole on the port side helo hangar, a damaged antenna, and a hydraulic leak in the helo hangar. McFaul sustained light damage to its starboard side bow. There were no personnel casualties or flooding on either ship. The collision occurred while the ships were preparing for deployment and conducting a training event that required aggressive ship-handling and high speed, close quarters tactical maneuvering.

November 7, USS Winston S. Churchill departed Norfolk for a scheduled deployment, with the USS Nassau (LHA 4) Expeditionary Strike Group Five (ESG) 5, in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

December 26, The guided-missile destroyer recently arrived in Victoria, Seychelles, for a goodwill port visit.

January 21, 2006 U.S. Navy Sailors from the Churchill boarded the suspect pirate vessel and discovered small-arms weapons on board, approximately 54 miles off the central eastern coast of Somalia, at 3 p.m. local time.

March 1, Cmdr. Nelson C. Castro relieved Cmdr. Todd W. Leavitt as commanding officer of the USS Winston S. Churchill.

May 2, USS Winston S. Churchill returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a six-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.

May 16, 2007 DDG 81 recently departed Philadelphia after participating in Fleet Week festivities.

May 23, The guided-missile destroyer pulled into New York City to participate in Fleet Week 2007.

July 24, The Winston S. Churchill departed Port Everglades, Fla., after a four-day port visit to participate in a JTFEX.

November 5, USS Winston S. Churchill, commanded by Cmdr. Mark J. Oberley, departed homeport for a scheduled deployment, as part of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Strike Group.

November 17, The Winston S. Churchill recently moored at HMNB Portsmouth, England, for a routine port call.

January 11, 2008 Cmdr. Fred I. Pyle relieved Cmdr. Mark J. Oberley as the 6th CO of DDG 81.

February 11, The Churchill is currently in the Arabian Gulf conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO).

June 4, USS Winston S. Churchill returned to Norfolk after a seven-month deployment.

July 2, DDG 81 recently moored at HMS Dockyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a scheduled port visit.

June 9, 2009 Capt. Robert C. Barwis relieved Capt. Michael A. Strano as Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Churchill.

May 21, 2010 USS Winston S. Churchill, commanded by Cmdr. Juan J. Orozco, departed Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled deployment, as part of the Truman CSG.

June 3, The guided-missile destroyer moored at HMNB Portsmouth, England, for a six-day port visit.

September 27, A rigid hull inflatable boats from the Churchill rescued 61 Ethiopian and Somali passengers of a capsized skiff in the Gulf of Aden. Eight were listed as missing, and an estimated 13 drowned. USS Winston S. Churchill is currently assigned to Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, a multinational task force conducting counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.

December 20, USS Winston S. Churchill returned to Norfolk after a seven-month deployment.

January 28, 2011 Capt. Peter C. DeMane relieved Capt. Robert C. Barwis as Commander, Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 26, during a change-of-command ceremony on board the DDG 81.

August 25, The Winston S. Churchill emergency sortied from Naval Station Norfolk to avoid the approaching Category 3 Hurricane Irene.

April 16, 2012 USS Winston S. Churchill arrived in Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va., to onload ordnance in preparation for the upcoming deployment.

April 24, The guided-missile destroyer is currently underway for a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) CSG.

June 20, USS USS Winston S. Churchill departed Norfolk for a scheduled Middle East deployment.

July 6, The Winston S. Churchill pulled into Bar, Montenegro, for a four-day port visit.

July 11, DDG 81 pulled into Durres, Albania, for a three-day port call. Transited Suez Canal on July 18.

August 16, Cmdr. Christopher D. Stone relieved Cmdr. Michael E. Hutchens as CO of the USS Winston S. Churchill during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship in the Gulf of Aden. The ship is currently assigned to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.

August 20, USS Winston S. Churchill provided medical assistance to Panamanian-flagged, bulk carrier M/V Belde, approximately 110 miles north of Socotra Island, Oman.

September 3, The guided-missile destroyer recently pulled into Khalifa Bin Salman Port in Hidd, Bahrain, for a scheduled port visit.

November 5, The Winston S. Churchill departed Manama, Bahrain, after a routine port call.

From Dec. 7-11, DDG 81 participated in exercise Lucky Mariner 13 with the British Navy ships in the Arabian Gulf. Lucky Mariner is an annual exercise, led by Naval Coordination and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) that teams regional naval forces with industry representatives to integrate civilian-military responses to violent extremist threats to theater shipping.

January 4, 2013 USS Winston S. Churchill departed Kingdom of Bahrain after a routine port call.

January 12, The Churchill pulled into Jebel Ali, U.A.E., for a four-day in-port phase of a bilateral tactical surface exercise Iron Siren 13; Supported multinational exercise Leading Edge, off the coast of United Arab Emirates, in early February.

March 8, The guided-missile destroyer returned to Mediterranean Sea after transiting Suez Canal. DDG 81 recently departed Aqaba naval base, Jordan, after a liberty port visit.

March 15, USS Winston S. Churchill arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, for a scheduled port visit.

March 28, The Winston S. Churchill returned to homeport after a nine-month deployment.

May ?, DDG 81 departed NWS Yorktown after ammo offload for a Friends and Family Day Cruise back to Norfolk.

July 22, USS Winston S. Churchill recently moored at the BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair facility for a four-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).

December ?, Capt. John F.G. Wade assumed command of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 during a change-of-command ceremony on board the Churchill at Naval Station Norfolk.

February 28, 2014 Cmdr. Christine R. O'Connell relieved Cmdr. Christopher D. Stone as the 10th commanding officer of DDG 81.

June 27, Capt. Fred I. Pyle relieved Capt. Stephen J. Coughlin as Commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, during a change-of-command ceremony on board the Winston S. Churchill at Naval Station Norfolk.

July 7, The guided-missile destroyer departed Norfolk to participate in exercise Greyhound Armor.

September 15, USS Winston S. Churchill departed homeport for a MISSILEX and Group Sail operations as part of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) CSG.

In early November, the Churchill was underway in support of a multinational amphibious exercise Bold Alligator 2014.