US Navy to Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Michael Murphy

The Navy will chris­ten the newest guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­er, Michael Mur­phy, Sat­ur­day, May 7, 2011, dur­ing a 10 a.m. EDT cer­e­mo­ny at Gen­er­al Dynam­ics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The new destroy­er hon­ors Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Lt. Michael P. Mur­phy who was posthu­mous­ly award­ed the Medal of Hon­or for his hero­ic actions dur­ing Oper­a­tion Red Wings in Afghanistan June 28, 2005.

Chief of Naval Oper­a­tions Adm. Gary Roug­head will deliv­er the ceremony’s prin­ci­pal address. Mau­reen Mur­phy will serve as spon­sor of the ship named for her late son. In accor­dance with Navy tra­di­tion, she will break a bot­tle of cham­pagne across the ship’s bow to for­mal­ly chris­ten the ship. 

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 know­ing­ly left his posi­tion of cov­er to get a clear sig­nal in order 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 to con­tin­ue the fight until final­ly suc­cumb­ing to his wounds. 

Des­ig­nat­ed DDG 112, Michael Mur­phy, the 62nd Arleigh Burke-class destroy­er, will be able to con­duct a vari­ety of oper­a­tions, from peace­time pres­ence and cri­sis man­age­ment to sea con­trol and pow­er pro­jec­tion. Michael Mur­phy will be capa­ble of fight­ing air, sur­face and sub­sur­face bat­tles simul­ta­ne­ous­ly and will con­tain a myr­i­ad of offen­sive and defen­sive weapons designed to sup­port mar­itime war­fare in keep­ing with “A Coop­er­a­tive Strat­e­gy for 21st Cen­tu­ry Seapower.” 

Cmdr. Thomas E. Shultz, a native of El Cajon, Calif., is the prospec­tive com­mand­ing offi­cer of the ship and will lead the crew of 279 offi­cers and enlist­ed per­son­nel. The 9,200-ton Michael Mur­phy is being built by Gen­er­al Dynam­ics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a water­line beam of 59 feet, and a nav­i­ga­tion­al draft of 31 feet. Four gas tur­bine engines will pow­er the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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