DDG 51

Summary History

Individual year pages have additional information, where available.

1991 Sea Trials

The USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), named for Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, USN (1901-1996), is the flag ship of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. Her keel was laid by Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine, on 6 December 1988, and the ship was launched by Mrs. Arleigh Burke on 16 September 1989. Admiral Burke attended the ship’s commissioning on 4 July 1991, at Town Point Park in Norfolk, Virginia.

Manning the ship

Following initial operational testing, the USS Arleigh Burke was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea in 1993, serving as the “Green Crown” during Operation Provide Promise.

During her second deployment in 1995, the Arleigh Burke steamed in the Mediterranean and performed “Red Crown” duties in support of the No-Fly Zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

During her third cruise in 1998, she sailed the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, Red Sea, and Black Sea, and participated in American and Allied exercises.

During her fourth cruise in 2000-2001, the Arleigh Burke served in the Mediterranean and Red Seas and in the Persian Gulf, enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

2000 TRUMAN BG – Romeo Closed Up

On her fifth deployment in 2003, the USS Arleigh Burke and the other units of the USS Theodore Roosevelt-led carrier battle group participated in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Arleigh Burke fired Tomahawk missile against targets in Iraq, escorted merchant ships and naval auxiliaries through geographic choke-points, and carried out “leadership interdiction” operations in the northern Arabian Sea. She also undertook counter-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden.

The ship made two additional overseas deployments between 2005 and 2007.

2005 Departing Clyde Naval Base, Scotland

In 2009, the Arleigh Burke was deployed to the eastern coast of Africa in support of AFRICOM’s Africa Partnership Station. The ship represented the United States during a port visit on the island nation of Seychelles where they played a role in securing a status of forces agreement between the two countries.

In August 2010, the Arleigh Burke entered BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair in Norfolk, VA for DDG Modernization, a program to upgrade the ship’s systems and to extend her service life to 40 years.

The ship next deployed in 2012.

On 23 September 2014, the ARLEIGH BURKE took part in the 2014 military intervention against ISIS, firing Tomahawk missiles on targets in Syria while the ship was in the Red Sea.

2014 TLAM Launch

(need more info on 2015-2017)

In 2018, the ship made two three-month overseas deployments, returning to Norfolk, Virginia, between cruises.

In 2019, the ship entered General Dynamics NASSCO’s shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, for continued work towards modernization for ballistic missile defense.

In 2021, she changed home port to Rota Spain.

USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) Arrives at NAVSTA Rota, April 11, 2021

The crew began their first Forward-Deployed Naval Forces – Europe patrol in May 2021, returning in December 2021. During 2021, Arleigh Burke sailed more than 44,000 miles, circumnavigated Europe, and executed operations in the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Barents Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Arctic Ocean. Port calls included Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Gdynia, Poland; Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania; and Golcuk, Turkey.

During 2022, Arleigh Burke:
– spent 157 days at sea in 2022 with an OPTEMPO of 49.9%
– advanced 69 Sailors to the next paygrade, the highest of any at-sea command in FDNF-E
– hosted visits from SECNAV and CNO
– conducted successful live-firing with SM-6
– completed a complex Selected Restricted Availability
– completed a successful INSURV at 31 years old young!
– celebrated 31st year of commissioned service, while forward deployed, operationally relevant, and capable, providing the latest Ballistic Missile Defense (SM-3) and Air Defense (SM-6) capabilities to the operational commanders.

Arleigh Burke commenced its third FDNF-E patrol in Feb, 2023.


This section needs verification, believe the current count is higher

Arleigh Burke has earned:
– three Navy Unit Commendations
– three Meritorious Unit Commendations
– eight Battle Efficiency E Awards
– the National Defense Service Medal
– the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
– the Kuwait Liberation Medal
– 13 Sea Service Deployment Ribbons
– one Overseas Service Ribbon