BATH, Maine - The keel of the future USS Thomas Hudner
(DDG 116) was authenticated during a ceremony at the Bath Iron Works (BIW)
shipyard Nov. 16.
The ship's keel was authenticated by Ms. Barbara Miller,
wife of the former Superintendent of the Naval Academy, Vice Adm. Michael
Miller. The authenticator etched her initials into the keel plate to
symbolically recognize the joining of modular components and the ceremonial
beginning of the ship.
"We are very honored to have the namesake of DDG
116, Captain Hudner and his family, here to witness this milestone
ceremony," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program
Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "These ships serve as a lasting reminder of
the courage, leadership, and intellectual contribution of the very best that
the Navy-Marine Corps team has had to offer."
Medal of Honor recipient, Thomas Hudner, crash landed his
plane in 1950 in an attempt to save the life of his wingman who was shot down
by Chinese ground troops at the battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean
DDG 116 is the second of two Arleigh Burke class
destroyers currently under construction at BIW.
DDG 115, the future USS Rafael Peralta, was launched at BIW Nov. 1.
As a Flight IIA ship, Thomas Hudner will be equipped with
the Navy's Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost integrated naval weapon
system. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased
electronic countermeasures capability for Anti-Air Warfare. Arleigh Burke ships
enable power projection, forward presence, and escort operations at sea in
support of Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare as well
as open ocean conflict.
DDG 116 started fabrication Feb. 15, 2013 and will join
the fleet in 2017 where she will serve as an integral player in global maritime
security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile
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.