The Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)-class destroyers soon will become the largest ship class in active service. Little has been written about their distinctive shiphandling characteristics, however, since then-Commander James Stavridis's definitive "Handling the Arleigh Burkes" in the October 1994 Proceedings (pp. 66-68). The article remains a terrific primer and a must read for DDG-51 drivers. This sequel is a supplement.
Environmental conditions in many U.S. homeports-most notably strong tidal cur rents- prevent officers from freely experimenting with their ships' handling characteristics. The result sometimes is a reliance on tugs to the exclusion of the ship's fine points of maneuvering. Conditions in many places in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Persian Gulf, on the other hand, favor more independent ship control. In fact, many ports lack adequate tug power and control