PASCAGOULA, Miss. - The keel of the future USS Paul Ignatius
(DDG 117) was authenticated during a ceremony at the Huntington Ingalls
Industries shipyard Oct. 20.
The ship's keel was authenticated by its namesake, the
Honorable Paul Ignatius and Mr. Bill Jones, the Hull Superintendent. Both
authenticators etched their initials into the keel plate to symbolically
recognize the joining of modular components and the ceremonial beginning of the
"We are very honored that the namesake of DDG 117,
The Honorable Paul Ignatius, is able to witness this milestone ceremony,"
said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive
Office (PEO) Ships. "Laying the keel breathes life into a ship and is the
first major event in a shipbuilding program."
During World War II, Paul Ignatius served as a
commissioned lieutenant in the Navy. Ignatius continued his service as
Secretary of the Navy from 1967-1969 and later as Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Installations and Logistics during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.
The future USS Paul Ignatius is the 67th ship of the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)
class and the first ship to bear his name.
Paul Ignatius, a Flight IIA ship, is the first ship in
the FY2013-FY2017 multi-year procurement contract to start fabrication and is
scheduled to deliver in 2018.
Upon joining the Fleet as the 67th DDG 51 class ship, she
will serve as an integral player in global maritime security, engaging in air,
undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition
organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and
procurement of all destroyers, 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.