The U.S. Navy commissioned its new Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS John Finn (DDG-113) at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii on Saturday, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) said in a statement.
“America is a Pacific nation, a Pacific leader and a Pacific power — always has been and always will be … We believe in peace through strength — smart power backed by hard power and the ship’s hard power personified sends a clear signal to our friends and to our adversaries, that we will remain laser-focused on the Indo-Asia Pacific,” US Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. said at the ceremony.
The admiral also noted that the new destroyer is equipped with the Aegis Baseline 9 weapon system and thus could simultaneously carry out air warfare and ballistic missile defense.
“The commissioning of USS John Finn marks the beginning of what will be decades of exceptional service for this ship,” said Sean Stackley, Acting Secretary of the Navy. “During World War II, Chief Finn distinguished himself through heroic service to his fellow Sailors and our nation. I know the men and women who make up the crew of USS John Finn will carry his legacy forward with the same selfless service he distinguished more than 75 years ago.”
The ship’s commissioning took place in Pearl Harbor in commemoration of the vessel’s namesake, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Navy Chief Petty Officer John Finn, who on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, manned a .50-caliber machine gun during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay.
Wounded more than 20 times, he continued to fight until the attacks ended. Finn died in 2010 at age 100. Finn received the first Medal of Honor of World War II for his heroism.
About USS John Finn:
John Finn is the 63rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the first of which, Arleigh Burke, was commissioned in July 1991. It is the first of its class commissioned since USS Michael Murphy joined the US fleet in 2012.
During its long production run, the class was built in three flights: Flight I (DDG-51–DDG-71), Flight II (DDG-72–DDG-78), and Flight IIA (DDG-79–DDG-126). With 75 ships planned to be built in total, the class has the longest production run for any U.S. Navy surface combatant.
As an Arleigh Burke-class ship, John Finn‘s roles included anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare, as well as strike operations.
John Finn is a Flight IIA ship and will feature several improvements in terms of ballistic missile defense, an embarked air wing (two MH-60R Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System Helicopters), and the inclusion of mine-detecting ability. The ship also has anti-NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) warfare protection.
In November 2013, the keel of John Finn was laid down at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Jackson County, Mississippi. At the keel laying ceremony, was the wife of retired Admiral Stavridis, Laura, the ship’s sponsor. The ship was launched 28 March 2015 and was christened on the 2 May 2015 by Laura Stavridis at the Ingalls Shipbuilding facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
On 7 December 2016, the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Pearl Harbor, the ship was delivered to the United States Navy from Ingalls Shipbuilding. The precommissioning crew moved onboard the ship on 28 February 2017.