USS Nitze coming to Gloucester for Schooner Festival

USS Nitze coming to Gloucester for Schooner Festival


More than 300 Sailors from the Arleigh Burke-class, Aegis- equipped guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) will arrive Friday morning in Gloucester to participate in the 23rd Annual Schooner Festival over the Labor Day weekend. The ship recently returned from a six-month deployment conducting operations in the Arabian Gulf and the Horn of Africa.

The Schooner Festival is the city’s major maritime event with sailing vessels of all descriptions participating in a variety of activities culminating in the Mayor’s Race on Sunday, September 2. Over a dozen large schooners are expected to compete for the Esperanto Cup. For more information about the Festival, visit their website at

Nitze Sailors will participate in a variety of activities while in Gloucester including a community service project on Sunday painting the railing along Stacey Blvd. The ship’s color guard will also participate in the National Anthem at Saturday evening’s Red Sox/Baltimore Orioles game at Fenway Park.


During the port visit the ship will be open for free public tours on Friday, 1 – 4p.m.; Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m.; and Monday 10 a.m. ‘ 4 p.m. The tours will depart by motor vessel from the Gloucester Redevelopment Pier located next to the Gloucester House Restaurant on Main Street (RT 127). Parking is not available.

Tours are on a first come first-served basis, no reservations will be accepted. All passengers are subject to search. No weapons, bags of any kind or drinking containers will be allowed. Small purses and cameras will be permitted. Minimum age requirement is 6 years old and all adults must have a photo ID. The ship is not handicapped accessible. Due to the number of steep ladders required to tour the ship and because of her limited emergency medical capabilities, people with heart conditions, breathing difficulties or other medical conditions will not be permitted to board.

USS Nitze is named after Paul H. Nitze, an Amherst, Mass., native who graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1928. Nitze, who served as the 57th Secretary of the Navy from 1963 to 1967, is largely credited with improving quality of life issues and encouraging advanced education for Sailors. He also served as a deputy secretary of Defense from 1967 to 1969 and, for more than 40 years, was one of the chief architects of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union. President Reagan awarded Nitze the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 for his contributions to the freedom and security of the U.S.

Guided missile destroyers like the USS Nitze incorporate all steel construction and can operate in support of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups. The USS Nitze’s combat systems center on the Aegis combat system and the SPY-lD, multi-function phased array radar. The ship is capable of performing anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare simultaneously.

USS Nitze is 510 feet long and weighs 9,100 tons and is capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots. It was built by Bath Ironworks in Maine and was commissioned March 5, 2005. Cmdr. Robert N. Hein is the ship’s commanding officer. For more information about USS Nitze, visit the ship’s Web site at