USA — Commissioning Slated for USS Jason Dunham

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2010 — Final prepa­ra­tions are under way in Fort Laud­erdale, Fla., for the com­mis­sion­ing tomor­row of the Navy’s newest guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­er, to be named hon­or­ing Marine Corps Cpl. Jason L. Dun­ham, who received the Medal of Hon­or posthu­mous­ly for hero­ism in Iraq.

USS Jason Dunham
The USS Jason Dun­ham, referred to until its Nov. 13 cer­e­mo­ny as “Pre-com­mis­sion­ing Unit Jason Dun­ham,” enters its home port in Florida’s Port Ever­glades Har­bor. The ship is named after Marine Corps Cpl. Jason L. Dun­ham, who was mor­tal­ly wound­ed by insur­gents in Iraq in April 2004 and was posthu­mous­ly award­ed the Medal of Hon­or.
U.S. Navy pho­to by Pet­ty Offi­cer 1st Class Mar­tin Cuaron
Click to enlarge

Com­man­dant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos is slat­ed to deliv­er the keynote address dur­ing the cer­e­mo­ny at Port Ever­glades, and Debra Dun­ham will serve as spon­sor of the Arleigh Burke-class destroy­er named for her late son.

Navy Cmdr. M. Scott Sciret­ta, USS Jason Dunham’s first com­mand­ing offi­cer, and his 276-mem­ber crew also will par­tic­i­pate in the cer­e­mo­ny.

Dun­ham died April 22, 2004, eight days after throw­ing him­self and his Kevlar hel­met onto an ene­my grenade to pro­tect two fel­low Marines in Kara­bi­lah, Iraq.

The 22-year-old Marine, who served with Com­pa­ny K, 3rd Bat­tal­ion, 7th Marines, based at Twen­ty­nine Palms, Calif., was lead­ing a rifle squad dur­ing a recon­nais­sance mis­sion, when he and his fel­low Marines respond­ed to an attack on their commander’s con­voy. Dun­ham wres­tled an insur­gent to the ground, and jumped onto a live grenade the insur­gent had dropped to smoth­er the blast.

Then-Pres­i­dent George W. Bush announced on Nov. 10, 2006 -– which would have been Dunham’s 25th birth­day and cor­re­sponds with the Marine Corps’ birth­day -– that Dun­ham would become the first Marine to be award­ed the nation’s high­est mil­i­tary hon­or since the Viet­nam War. Bush pre­sent­ed the Medal of Hon­or to Dunham’s fam­i­ly dur­ing a Jan. 11, 2007, White House cer­e­mo­ny.

“With this medal, we pay trib­ute to the courage and lead­er­ship of a man who rep­re­sents the best of young Amer­i­cans,” he said. “By his self­less­ness, Cor­po­ral Dun­ham saved the lives of two of his men and showed the world what it means to be a Marine.”

Two months lat­er, the Navy Depart­ment announced that it would name a guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­er in Dunham’s hon­or.

Des­ig­nat­ed DDG 109, the ship was chris­tened April 1, 2009, at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The 9,200-ton, 509-foot­war­ship left for its new Fort Laud­erdale home port in ear­ly Octo­ber.

In the lead-up to tomorrow’s cer­e­mo­ny, crew mem­bers have been con­duct­ing com­mu­ni­ty out­reach projects through­out the South Flori­da com­mu­ni­ty, and mem­bers of Major League Baseball’s Flori­da Mar­lins toured the ship Nov. 9.

Tonight, the Nation­al Hock­ey League’s Flori­da Pan­thers will host the crew as the team takes on the Min­neso­ta Wild in Sun­rise, Fla. In addi­tion to being present for the cer­e­mo­ni­al puck drop, the sailors will be rec­og­nized from their seats at BankAt­lantic Cen­ter dur­ing the game’s sec­ond peri­od, Sun­rise Ports and Enter­tain­ment offi­cials announced.

The Navy’s 59th Arleigh Burke-class destroy­er, USS Jason Dun­ham will be able to oper­ate inde­pen­dent­ly or as part of car­ri­er strike groups, sur­face action groups, amphibi­ous ready groups and under­way replen­ish­ment groups, Navy offi­cials said. It is equipped with the Aegis com­bat sys­tem, ver­ti­cal launch­ing sys­tem, advanced anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare sys­tem, advanced anti-air­craft mis­siles and Tom­a­hawk cruise mis­siles.

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

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →