KEY WEST, Fla. -- A new Navy destroyer has been commissioned in Key West.
During a sunset ceremony Saturday on Key West's waterfront, the USS Spruance's 285-person crew manned the 509-foot, $1.2 billion ship.
The command, sending crewmembers up two gangways, was issued by Ellen Spruance Holscher, granddaughter of the late Adm. Raymond Spruance, the ship's namesake. Adm. Spruance commanded naval forces at the Battle of Midway during World War II.
About 3,400 people gathered to witness the first Navy vessel commissioning ceremony ever to take place in Key West, despite the island being a base for naval operations since the 1820s.
According to Navy officials, the Spruance is a multi-mission ship that carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, a 5-inch gun, sonar and two helicopters. It is capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.
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