WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Symbolically recognizing the beginning of ship construction, the Navy will authenticate the keel for future USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) June 18 at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.
Participants will include Lt. Michael Murphy's mother, Maureen; father, Dan; and brother, John, who will confirm the keel is laid "straight and true."
Designated DDG 112, the ship is named in honor of Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan June 28, 2005.
A Navy SEAL, Murphy led a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy deliberately left his position of cover to get a clear signal to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit's location and requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover position and continued fighting until succumbing to his wounds.
"As the 62nd ship of the class, I believe DDG 112 will be the finest destroyer yet delivered," said Capt. Pete Lyle, DDG 51-class program manager within the Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "There couldn't be a more fitting tribute to Lt. Murphy's sacrifice."
DDG 51-class ships are multimission combatants designed to operate in multithreat air, surface and subsurface threat environments. These destroyers are equipped with the Navy's Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost integrated naval weapon system. The class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs due to the program's maturity.
This keel laying is one of DDG 51-class milestones scheduled for summer 2010. The future USS Spruance (DDG 111) was christened June 5, Jason Dunham (DDG 109) delivered June 4 and Gravely (DDG 107) will be delivered in July 2010. Managed by PEO Ships, the DDG 51 program continues to exemplify affordability and efficiency, while delivering ships of the highest possible quality.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface combatants, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships and special warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.
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