WAVY’s Navy Ship Salute: USS Bainbridge

WAVY’s Navy Ship Salute is a feature on WAVY News 10 Today. Each month, in partnership with the U.S. Navy, WAVY-TV 10 will profile a different ship based at the world’s largest Navy base: Naval Station Norfolk. The series aims to better introduce our viewers to some of the largest floating taxpayer assets there are, as well as life aboard a U.S. Navy ship.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The USS Bainbridge is a Arleigh Burke-class destroyer serving as part of Naval Surface Force Atlantic.

Built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, she was first commissioned in 2005. She is the fifth ship named in honor of William Bainbridge, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the U.S. Navy. As commander of the frigate USS Constitution during the War of 1812, he made a name for himself when he and his crew captured HMS Java of the Royal Navy.

She last deployed in 2022 as part of the USS Harry S. Truman strike group.

USS Bainbridge is nearly 510 feet long and has roughly 300 sailors on her crew.

Cmdr. Thad Tasso said the Bainbridge just came back into port after more than a week of training at sea.

“Right now we’re in the basic phase of our training cycle,” Tasso said. “So we’re focusing on right now our Tier one, which is our, kind of, basic ability to steam the ship, protect the ship, do damage control, navigate. Very soon, we’re going to move into our Tier two training, which is where we really learn to fight the ship.”

Having the crew stay up-to-date on the real-time combat ships are seeing in the Red Sea is helpful when it comes to preparing for the mission Tasso believes.

“We have a great opportunity with what’s going on in the Red Sea to leverage those lessons learned of real combat scenarios to inform our training, make us faster, more lethal, and get us toward our ultimate north star, which is improve combat readiness,” Tasso said.

While modern warfare techniques are critical to learn, BM1 Aldane Dunn said it’s just as vital to master timeless operations such as mooring a ship.

Dunn, who migrated from Jamaica to serve, said his father is extremely proud of his decision.

When a sailor finishes their tour on Bainbridge, they don’t depart without an audience.

Cmdr. Ray Miller, executive officer, explained that the crew will “pipe you ashore.”

Sailors line the beam ahead of the gangway and the departing sailor stages on the opposite side.

“Then they’re going to give you two bells, what you rank today. And then the boatswain will pipe you,” Miller said. “We will then render you honors as you walk down, and then don’t forget to request permission to go ashore from the captain.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WAVY.com.