For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Contact: Brian Stout 703-228-5921 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)
(Note: this press release was corrected 03-24-11, to note that the event will be broadcast at 11 am EST)
ARLINGTON, Va. – Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz will deliver the keynote address on Saturday, March 26 at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s christening of the amphibious transport dock ship Arlington in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Schwartz was deputy fire chief at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. As incident commander for the Pentagon attack, Schwartz coordinated the rescue response efforts on the ground. County Manager Barbara Donnellan, former County Manager Ron Carlee, who was County Manager at the time of the attacks, and Arlington County Police Department officers who were first responders that day, will represent Arlington at the ceremony. No County taxpayer money will be used to pay travel expenses.
AVN, the County’s cable channel, will broadcast the christening live, starting at 11 am EST March 26, on Comcast Channel 25 and Verizon FIOS 40. AVN will also provide a live stream on the County website. Northrup Grumman has invited media to cover the christening and to visit the shipyard on Friday, March 25 for pre-ceremony interviews. For information on covering the event, contact Bill Glenn, with Northrop Grumman, at 228-935-1323, or William.firstname.lastname@example.org. For details on the event, visit Northrup Grumman's website.
Joyce Rumsfeld, sponsor of the ship and wife of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, will christen the vessel.
The USS Arlington is one of three ships Northrop Grumman is building to honor the heroes and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. USS New York has been delivered to the Navy and Somerset, named for the County in Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 crashed, is currently under construction in Avondale, La.
Cmdr. Darren W. Nelson, of Rushville, Neb., the Arlington’s prospective commanding officer, will attend the ceremony.
The USS Arlington, an LPD 24, is the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Arlington. According to Northrop Grumman, the 11 ships of the LPD 17 class are a key element of the Navy’s ability to project power ashore. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades.
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.