The US Navy’s latest Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS air defence destroyer will be named for a naval special forces lieutenant awarded a posthumous Medal of Honour for heroism in Afghanistan in 2005.
A keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) was held at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on Friday. Participants included SEAL Lt Michael Murphy’s mother, Maureen; father, Dan; and brother, John. Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honour for his actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.
“Murphy led a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy deliberately left his position of cover to get a clear signal to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover position and continued fighting until succumbing to his wounds,” the US Navy says in a statement.
“As the 62nd ship of the class, I believe DDG 112 will be the finest destroyer yet delivered,” said Capt. Pete Lyle, DDG 51-class program manager within the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “There couldn’t be a more fitting tribute to Lt. Murphy’s sacrifice.”
The US Nay calls “DDG 51-class ships are multimission combatants designed to operate in multithreat air, surface and subsurface threat environments. These destroyers are equipped with the Navy’s AEGIS combat system, the world’s foremost integrated naval weapon system. The class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimising procurement and lifetime support costs due to the program’s maturity.”