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By Julie Ann Ripley, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
The future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) will join the active fleet on October 7, with a commissioning ceremony in Tampa, Florida. DDG 125 will be the Navy’s first Flight III destroyer with notable technological upgrades. The Flight III upgrades are centered on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar and incorporates upgrades to the electrical power and cooling capacity.
Guided-missile destroyers provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, and expeditionary strike groups. They are capable of conducting anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-surface warfare (ASuW).
The ship’s name was selected on Sept. 17, 2016 by then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to serve as a constant reminder to the immense impact actions taken by any one Sailor or Marine can truly have.
DDG 125 is named for Pfc. Jack Lucas, who served in the U.S. Marines during World War II, earning the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Iwo Jima, when he was just 17 years old. He is the youngest Marine, and the youngest serviceman in World War II, to be awarded the United States' highest military decoration for valor. In 1961, he returned to military service as a captain in the U.S. Army and trained younger troops headed for Vietnam. Lucas passed away on June 5, 2008 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Ruby Lucas, widow of the ship’s namesake, and philanthropist Cathy Reynolds are the ship’s sponsors.
This will be the first Naval warship to bear the name Jack H. Lucas.
Following commissioning, USS Jack H. Lucas will transit to its homeport of San Diego.