The U.S. Navy christened its 67th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) during a ceremony on April 8.
DDG 117 is named in honor of Paul Ignatius, who served as the United States’ 59th Secretary of the Navy from 1967 to 1969. He made significant contributions during the administrations of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Ignatius is a living namesake and was in attendance for today’s ceremony.
“These Arleigh Burke destroyers provide our leaders with the ability to conduct a wide range of missions,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson. “That kind of flexibility is increasingly important in the world of maritime competition.”
“I want to express my appreciation to the men and women of one of the world’s best—if not the best shipyard—here at Huntington Ingalls, whose ships, as their motto proudly proclaims, are built stronger than steel,” Ignatius said. “One of the great strengths of our country is the industrial might that builds ships, tanks and airplanes that ensured victory in World War II and that continue to undergird our efforts to maintain stability amid the new threats that face us.”
Nancy W. Ignatius, his wife, is the ship’s sponsor and officially christened the ship after breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow.
Pre-commissioning unit Paul Ignatius is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in June 2018.