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Destroyer USS Zumwalt heads to Canada for first deployment

By Allen Cone
Destroyer USS Zumwalt heads to Canada for first deployment
The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt departs San Diego on Friday as part of an operational underway period. Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 2nd Class Natalie M. Byers/U.S. Navy

March 11 (UPI) -- The USS Zumwalt, a guided-missile destroyer, left its San Diego homeport for its first operational deployment up the West Coast to a naval base in Canada.

The destroyer was seen departing just before 11 a.m. Friday, USNI News reported. The ship then headed out for open Pacific as part of the deployment, which the Navy refers to as "operational underway."

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The Zumwalt, designed for a crew of 158, arrived in San Diego in 2016. Construction commenced in 2009 by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine and the launch was in 2013.

"My crew has been looking forward to continued testing and operations at sea, leveraging the newly installed capabilities of this platform," Capt. Andrew Carlson, Zumwalt's commanding officer, said in news release. "Our primary focus is executing a safe underway, while building both competence and confidence in operating Zumwalt across the spectrum of naval warfare."

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Recently, Zumwalt's crew completed a post-delivery maintenance to thoroughly evaluate the ship's systems and equipment, including radars and the engineering plant.

"The milestone demonstrates the U.S. Navy's commitment to advancing the lethality of its surface combatants by integrating cutting-edge technologies in Zumwalt's combat systems, weapons and engineering plants," the U.S. Third Fleet, which has operational control of the ship, said in a statement.

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The fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific.

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Zumwalt is the lead ship of the next-generation multimission destroyers "designed to combat the threats of today, as well as those of coming decades," according to the Navy.

Other Zumwalt-class ships are the Michael Monsoor. which was commissioned in January, and the Lyndon B. Johnson, which was launched last December.

The Zumwalt, which includes an angular hull and superstructure design, is 610 feet long -- 100 feet longer and 13 feet wider than the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

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The ship is named after Elmo Russell Zumwalt Jr., who was an American naval officer at 49 became the youngest man to serve as the chief of naval operations.

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