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USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the fifth ship to carry that name, and the 46th destroyer of a planned 62-ship class. Bainbridge is named in honor of Commodore William Bainbridge, who as commander of the frigate USS Constitutionmarker distinguished himself in the War of 1812 when he and his crew captured HMS Java, a 38-gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy.

Since her commissioning in 2005, Bainbridge has been active in the Mediterranean Seamarker, but most of the attention she has garnered has been as a result of the failed hijacking attempt of the freighter MV Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates in April, 2009, which ended with the release of the vessel's Master, Captain Richard Phillips, on April 12, 2009. After crewmen of the captured cargo vessel managed to retake the ship, the pirates retreated, taking the ship's Master hostage in a lifeboat. Bainbridge and shadowed the pirates, and with FBI assistance attempted negotiations for the safe return of the captive captain until U.S. Navy SEAL snipers resolved the situation with deadly force.


Bainbridge is one of 62 authorized Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, and one of 32 members of the Flight IIA-class that incorporate the 5"/62 caliber gun mount, an improvement over the previous 5"/54 caliber gun mounts on the earlier Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. In addition to her guns, Bainbridge carries over 100 missiles of various types aboard two separate Mk 41 VLS magazines. Her superstructure features the AN/SPY-1 radar indicative of the Aegis combat system, which allows the destroyer to track over 100 targets simultaneously. She is also equipped with the Remote Mine-hunting System (RMS), which includes the Remote Mine-hunting Vehicle (RMV), an unmanned craft that detects, classifies, and localizes underwater mines.

Bainbridge was floated from drydock and christened on 13 November 2004 at Bath Iron Worksmarker, Bath, Mainemarker, sponsored by Susan Bainbridge Hay, Commodore William Bainbridge's great-great-great-granddaughter. She was commissioned on 12 November 2005, with Commander John M. Dorey commanding. Presently, she is commanded by CDR Francis X. Castellano, with LCDR David E. Fowler serving as the Executive Officer and Steve R. Rafter serving as Command Master Chief.


Bainbridge assumed flag ship for Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG-1) from (SNMG-1 April 2007–August 2007) and remained flag ship from August 2007 until February 2008. While on deployment under SNMG-1, they visited various ports across the Mediterranean such as Valetta, Maltamarker, A Coruña, Spainmarker, Istanbul, Turkeymarker, Cretemarker, Athens, Greecemarker, and Port Victoria, Seychellesmarker.

On April 8, 2009, Bainbridge was dispatched in response to a hostage situation in which Somali pirates had seized control of an American-flagged cargo vessel, the Maersk Alabama. The crew of the Alabama were able to get to safety, after their captain offered to be taken hostage by the pirates in exchange for the safety of his crew. He was taken to and held on a lifeboat. The destroyer shadowed and later encircled the Somali pirates during the standoff, at which time the pirates and Bainbridge began negotiating for the safe release of the captive captain. On April 12, 2009 Captain Phillips was freed—reportedly in good condition—during a US Navy SEAL team assault. Three of the Somali pirates were killed by US Navy SEAL sharpshooters aboard Bainbridge, and one was captured.


  1. Owing to the presence of the Aegis system, Bainbridge and her sisters are sometimes incorrectly referred to as Aegis class ships.
  2. AN/WLD-1 - Remote Minehunting System. See also DN-SD-06-08197 for a 2004 image of the RMS, aboard , with logo that says "Remote Minehunting System".
  3. "the Bainbridge was floated in a dry dock instead of being launched" from "OLD IRONSIDES" LEGACY LIVES - NEW USS BAINBRIDGE CHRISTENED. Press of Atlantic City NewsBank. November 14, 2004.

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