The Feb. 2 front-page article “It was to be a juggernaut, but that ship has sailed,” by reporter Nathan Strout of The Times Record, was very well done. He told the story like it is and ended with a positive forecast.

I had the honor of escorting 26 residents of Brunswick’s Thornton Oaks Retirement Living Community aboard the Zumwalt (DDG-1000) in September 2016, and we were extremely impressed with the extraordinary innovative features of this stealthy guided-missile destroyer.

As former technical director of the 55-ship Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate program in Washington, and subsequently the U.S. Navy supervisor of shipbuilding in Bath in the 1970s and early 1980s, I was keenly aware of the Zumwalt and her two sisters, Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002), that were to become the highlight of the Navy’s fleet.

While these ships are having their mission changed to meet different threats, their versatility is able to accommodate revised combat system requirements. As noted in the article, there may be an anti-ship electromagnetic rail gun for distant enemy ship targets. Also, this ship has a consolidated or integrated propulsion, command and control, and combat system.

These modernistic destroyers are crewed by less than 160 highly trained personnel. When we toured Zumwalt, the quarterdeck watch and the tour guides were excellent representatives of their ship and our present-day Navy personnel. The commanding officer was a Naval Academy graduate, four decades after me.

I was immensely proud to be aboard for those couple hours of familiarization with our future Navy! I hope all Americans would feel this same sense of pride in our Navy and all our services.

Charles L. Mull

retired captain, U.S. Navy


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