The bridge is manned only by three watchstand
ers: an officer of the deck, a junior officer of the deck
and a junior officer of the watch. The latter two sit at
computer consoles from which they control the navi
gation of the ship, and are surrounded by largescreen
displays that give them situational awareness from a set
of electrooptical cameras.
The bridge console features a traditional set of throt
tles that are reserved for “tertiary” use if needed. The
bridge has no traditional wheel for a helmsman, with
simple cookiesized control dials as backup controls
for the electrical steering system.
The combat information center is called a Ship’s
Mission Center on Zumwalt. One unusual feature is
the stationing of the engineering officer of the watch in
the center. Chase said this blending of engineering and
operations personnel in the same space “sparks a cross
talk between the rates.”
Chase said the small size of the crew makes it a
“pretty close family.”
The ship also features a boat bay that can launch
two 11meter or three 7meter rigidhull inflatable
boats out of a stern ramp. The boats can be loaded in
the bay and the boat cradles can be lifted and tilted to
slide the boats out of the stern. The two 11meter boats
currently onboard are named “Russell” and “Elmo” in
honor of Zumwalt’s son and grandson, respectively, an
outward sign of the crew’s appreciation of the legacy of
the ship’s namesake.
Zumwalt is designed for crew comfort and relative
privacy. All personnel live in two or fourperson state
rooms with heads, or bathrooms, rather than the large
berthing compartments as on older ships, Chase said.
The ship’s galley prepares meals for all ranks, a depar
ture from the different messes for officers, chiefs and
After commissioning, Zumwalt departed for the U.S.
West Coast on Oct. 20 for a scheduled arrival in
December. From its homeport of San Diego, it will have
the rest of its mission systems installed and tested before
the ship works up for its first deployment, Kirk said.
The ship currently is fitted with a Furuno commer
cial navigation radar suite to enable it to safely operate
before it receives some of its mission systems. The
crew is busy writing the manuals that will govern the
ship’s operation as it becomes familiar with the ship’s
technology. Initial operational capability is planned for
2019, Witten said.
“All ship systems, with the exception of certain
combat systems, aviation capabilities and communi
cation [systems] are active,” Witten said. “Major sys
tems to be installed during PostDelivery Availability
include programofrecord communication equipment
and the Mk46 CloseIn Gun System.”
Witten said that as of November, the second and
third ships of the class, Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001)
and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), currently are 91
percent and 59 percent complete, respectively. n
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 18 SEAPOWER / DECEMBER 2016
Petty Officer 2nd Class Alfredo Echevarria stands watch on the bridge of USS Zumwalt Oct. 22 in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ship’s Mission Center on Zumwalt stations the engineering officer of the watch in the center of the bridge, and the
blending of engineering and operations personnel in the same space “sparks a cross-talk between the rates,” according
to the ship’s chief engineer.