The christening of the first-in-class destroyer Zumwalt, which had been set for Oct. 19 at Maine’s Bath Iron Works, has been postponed by the government shutdown, the US Navy said in a Friday news release.
“It is incredibly unfortunate that we are being forced to cancel the christening ceremony for this great warship,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in the release, “but the ongoing government shutdown prevents us from being able to honor Admiral Zumwalt’s memory with a ceremony befitting his and his family’s legacy of service to our Nation and our Navy.”
The Navy and the shipyard, owned by General Dynamics, are in talks to reschedule the ceremony, the release said. As of early Friday, the yard’s website providing details on the event had not been updated to reflect the schedule change.
Zumwalt is the first of a three-ship class of destroyers that will be the largest ever built. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the fleet in 2014, followed by sister ships Michael Monsoor (2016) and Lyndon B. Johnson (2018). It honors Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., the 19th Chief of Naval Operations.