The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), during a 10:00 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, May 13, in Key West, Florida.
Rear Admiral Cynthia Kuehner, Commander, Naval Medical Forces Support Command and Director of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Remarks were also been provided by the Honorable Donald Norcross, U.S. Representative, New Jersey’s 1st District and member of the House Armed Services Committee; the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the U.S. Navy; Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations; the Honorable Teri Johnston, mayor of Key West; and Ms. Kari Wilkinson, president of Huntington Ingalls Industries-Ingalls Shipbuilding division. The ship’s sponsors, Ms. Louisa Dixon, Ms. Virginia Munford, and Ms. R. Pickett Wilson, also were in attendance.
The ship’s namesake, Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, served as the second Superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in 1911, and was also the first woman recipient of the Navy Cross. When she entered naval service in 1908, she was one of the first 20 women, known as the «Sacred Twenty», to join the newly established Navy Nurse Corps and contributed her nursing skills to the U.S. Navy during the First World War. This is the second ship named after Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee. The first ship, USS Higbee (DD-806), was the first combat warship named after a female member of the U.S. Navy.
«Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee was ahead of her time, from being one of the first members of the Navy Nurse Corps, to being its second Superintendent, to being the first woman to earn the Navy Cross», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. «I am confident that the crew who will sail USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee will continue to honor and embody her trailblazing legacy».
The ship will be the 73d Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be commissioned, with 17 additional ships currently under contract for the DDG-51 program. The ship is configured as a Flight IIA Technology Insertion destroyer, which enables power projection and delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for anti-air warfare. The future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) will be 509.5 feet/155.3 m long and 59 feet/18 m wide, with a displacement of 9,496 tons. It will be homeported in San Diego.
|Length Overall||510 feet/156 m|
|Beam – Waterline||59 feet/18 m|
|Draft||31 feet/9.5 m|
|Displacement – Full Load||9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons|
|Power Plant||4 General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW|
|Speed||in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h|
|Range||4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h|
|Crew||380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM|
|Surveillance||SPY-1D Phased Array Radar (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system|
|Electronics/Countermeasures||SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director|
|Aircraft||2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)|
|Armament||2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos|
Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup
Flight IIA: Technology Insertion
|DDG-116 Thomas Hudner||GDBIW||04-23-17||12-01-18||Mayport, Florida|
|DDG-117 Paul Ignatius||HIIIS||11-12-16||07-27-19||Mayport, Florida|
|DDG-118 Daniel Inouye||GDBIW||10-27-19||12-08-21||Pearl Harbor, Hawaii|
|DDG-119 Delbert D. Black||HIIIS||09-08-17||09-26-20||Mayport, Florida|
|DDG-120 Carl M. Levin||GDBIW||05-16-21||Pearl Harbor, Hawaii|
|DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr.||HIIIS||07-13-18||05-14-22||Pearl Harbor, Hawaii|
|DDG-122 John Basilone||GDBIW||06-12-22|
|DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee||HIIIS||01-27-20||05-13-23||San Diego, California|
|DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr.||GDBIW|
|DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher||GDBIW|