NORFOLK (NNS) -- The crew of the guided-missile cruiser the USS Gettysburg (CG 64) participated in a commemoration event for the Battle of Midway, aboard decommissioned battleship USS Wisconsin (BB 64), June 8.
Gettysburg Sailors listened to a presentation by Director of Education at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum Laura Orr, toured Wisconsin, and reflected on the historical importance of the battle.
The Battle of Midway took place June 4-7, 1942 around the 2.4 square mile atoll, located roughly 1,500 nautical miles from Pearl Harbor. The battle is widely regarded as a decisive victory and a significant turning point in the war in the Pacific, during which U.S. Navy carrier strike forces defeated the Japanese navy carrier task force.
Gettysburg Commanding Officer Capt. Corey Keniston believes studying this battle in particular should inspire Gettysburg Sailors to understand the importance of preparation and readiness.
Though it's often heralded as the "Miracle at Midway" Keniston explained, "While luck did play a part, the victory at Midway was not a miracle. It was the result of the hard work, training, and peacetime preparation.
"If the carrier aircraft and tactics had not been perfected; if the pilots had not been trained to a fine edge; if our flag officers had not fought Naval War College war games in the 1930s; if our Navy had not developed leaders like Chester Nimitz, Raymond Spruance, and Frank Jack Fletcher over the course of many years, then it would have been a miracle. But the hard work of those Sailors, well in advance of that day, gave them the skill and confidence to be victorious.
During the tour aboard the historic battleship, Keniston spoke to his Sailors. "Everything we do is focused on warfighting. We must continue to prepare for the future fight and ensure we are ready to fight when the shooting starts."
Gettysburg is one of the first guided-missile cruisers to enter the Navy's Cruiser Modernization Program. The ship is scheduled for an extended dry docking availability and will receive combat systems and navigation upgrades that will extend the service life of the ship to 2040. The ship is currently in an inactive status undergoing cruiser modernization at Norfolk Naval Station and is expected to return to the fleet in 2019.