A mix of tourists and local citizens gather at the South End Boat Launch in Bath to cheer on the soon-to-be christened USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112).by Will Gottlieb
Coastal Journal staff
BATH — The soon-to-be christened USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) was launched by BIW on Sept. 5, the last of the current run of 62 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, and the 34th built in Bath. She will be commissioned in New York City on Oct. 6. The Arleigh Burke program will resume in 2016.
According to the Navy’s press release, the “…DDG 51 class ship is a multi-mission, guided-missile destroyer designed to operate in multi-threat air, surface and sub-surface threat environments. The class of ship provides combat capability and survivability characteristics, while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs due to the program’s maturity. The DDG 51 program continues to reinforce affordability and efficiency in its shipbuilding program with a commitment to deliver ships at the highest possible quality and to manage a seamless transition to the Fleet.”
The ship will be named for the late Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a native of Patchogue, N.Y., who served in the Navy SEALs, and was the first person to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
On June 28, 2005, Lt. Murphy was in command of a SEAL team charged with finding a key anti-coalition militia commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan. During an intense gun battle with Taliban fighters, Lt. Murphy deliberately exposed himself to enemy fire in order to call for reinforcements, and was severely wounded as a result. A helicopter arrived to recover the team, but was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade. Outnumbered and outgunned, three of the four SEAL team members were lost. But because of Lt. Murphy’s selfless act or heroism, the surviving member of his team, Hospital Corpsman, 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell, eventually made it home.
Maureen Murphy, Lt. Murphy’s mother, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ship will be deployed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which is also the location of Lt. Murphy’s former command, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1.