Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the guided missile destroyer Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) on November 15 to the U.S. Navy with shipbuilders, ship’s force and representatives of Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast in attendance.
The signing of the DD 250 document officially transfers custody of the ship from HII to the Navy. Ralph Johnson is scheduled to sail away from the shipyard in February and will be commissioned on March 24, 2018, in Charleston, South Carolina.
“This marks an important milestone in this ship’s life with the formal completion of construction,” said Cmdr. Jason P. Patterson, the ship’s prospective commanding officer. “I want to thank the shipbuilders for constructing this great ship named after a great man. The crew can sail with confidence that this ship will bring the fight to the enemy and take care of her team just like Ralph did.”
DDG 114 is named to honor Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions that saved lives during the Vietnam War. Johnson shouted a warning to his fellow Marines and hurled himself on an explosive device, saving the life of one Marine and preventing the enemy from penetrating his sector of the patrol’s perimeter. Johnson died instantly. The Charleston native had only been in Vietnam for a little more than two months when he was killed at the age of 19.
Ingalls has now delivered 30 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) and Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123).
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. The guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.