BATH, Maine – A 2000 Maury High School and 2004 United States Naval Academy graduate and Norfolk, Virginia, native is serving aboard one of the Navy’s newest and most advanced ship, the destroyer Zumwalt (DDG 1000), which is currently under construction at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
Lt. Cmdr. Nathaniel Chase is the chief engineer aboard the Zumwalt, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2016. Once the Zumwalt is commissioned, it will receive the familiar United States Ship (USS) designation and become USS Zumwalt.
Built with a stealth-like design intended to reduce the ship’s radar profile, the Zumwalt’s futuristic appearance seems fitting given that the ship’s commanding officer is Capt. James Kirk.
The ship has advanced technologies in every area – engines, power systems, weapons systems, shipboard electronics and sensors – making it one of the world’s most capable ships.
When at sea, Zumwalt will perform a variety of missions including attacking targets on land with gunfire and cruise missiles, hunting and tracking submarines, airspace surveillance and support to special operations forces.
Longer than two football fields, the ship is 80 feet wide and weighs more than 15,000 long tons when fully loaded. Twin gas turbine engines can push the ship through the water at more than 30 knots. Zumwalt is named in honor of Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who served as chief of naval operations, the Navy’s most senior uniformed officer, from 1970-1974.
Chase said it is an exciting time to be in the Navy, helping to build a crew and a ship from scratch, something he never expected to be doing just a couple years ago. He also said he is proud of the work he is doing to help commission and man one of the Navy’s newest ships.
As an experienced officer with numerous responsibilities, Chase said he is learning about himself as a leader, sailor and a person. “I came out of high school as a cocky kid, thinking I was the world’s greatest defensive linemen,” said Chase. “I’m much more grounded and realistic now. At the Naval Academy I learned fast that you need to be committed and all-in if you want to grow and mature as an officer.”
“USS Zumwalt represents the beginning of another era of service for this great name,” said Kirk. “Just as Admiral Zumwalt helped shape our nation’s Navy as the 19th chief of naval operations, this ship will help shape the future of surface combatants. The sophisticated new technologies incorporated aboard this ship, combined with its multi-mission capabilities, will ensure it is a relevant and integral part of our battle force for years to come.”
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