SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance left San Diego Wednesday for its maiden deployment.
The Arleigh Burke class vessel and its crew of 260 officers and enlisted personnel will head to the western Pacific to conduct security operations with other nations, according to the Navy.
Commissioned two years ago, the 509-foot ship is named after Adm. Raymond Spruance, a cruiser division commander who substituted for the ill Adm. William "Bull" Halsey to lead an aircraft carrier task force at the Battle of Midway during World War II.
Spruance and Halsey went on to split command of the Navy's prime carrier strike force in the Pacific in later battles against the Japanese. Besides giving command staffs a chance to rest and plan for upcoming missions, the arrangement also served to make the Japanese think the U.S. actually had two different task forces.
Spruance later succeeded Adm. Chester Nimitz as the commander of the Pacific Fleet, led the Naval War College and was the U.S. ambassador to The Philippines. He died in 1969 in Pebble Beach.