U.S. Navy Commissions its Newest Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116)

The U.S. Navy has commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony at Flynn Cruiseport in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, Dec. 1.

The ceremony’s principal address was delivered by Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts, and Thomas Hudner III, son of Capt. Hudner, gave a speech about his father’s life and legacy.

The ship’s sponsors are Georgea Hudner, widow of Capt. Thomas Hudner, and Barbara Miller, wife of retired Vice Adm. Michael Miller, former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. In a time-honored Navy tradition, they gave the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

Thomas Hudner is commanded by Cmdr. Nathan Scherry, a Peculiar, Missouri native.

USS Thomas Hudner honors naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr. President Harry S. Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to Hudner April 13, 1951, who displayed “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” for attempting to save the life of his squadron mate, Ens. Jesse L. Brown, in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. Although Brown perished in the incident, Hudner survived the war and retired from the Navy after 26 years of service. He passed away Nov. 13, 2017, at the age of 93 and was interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery April 4, 2018. This is the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Thomas Hudner.

Thomas Hudner is the 66th DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer of the U.S. Navy, the 36th DDG 51 class destroyer built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) and the fourth DDG-51 Flight IIA restart ships to be delivered to the Navy.

The $663 million contract to build her was awarded on 28 February 2012 to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) of Bath, Maine. Hudner’s keel was laid on 16 November 2015 and her christening took place on 1 April 2017. The ship was delivered to the Navy on June 15 this year.

The ship is equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense 5.0 (BMD 5.0) and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA).

Aegis Baseline 9 IAMD destroyers have increased computing power, along with radar upgrades which improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern anti-air warfare (AAW) and ballistic missile defense (BMD) threats. These capabilities are designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a 21st century fighting edge.

The ship is able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. In addition to AAW, the ship can also simultanoesly conduct ant-surface warfare (ASuW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW)

USS Thomas Hudner is homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

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