By Kayla Good for Island Eye News
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus today announced that the city of Charleston, South Carolina, will serve as the commissioning site for the future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). The ship is named for Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, a native of Charleston, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.
No date has been set for the commissioning ceremony, but the ship was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Dec. 12, 2015.
Ralph Johnson is the 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and the 30th DDG 51 class destroyer built by the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard.
DDG 51 class ships are integral players in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense. Ralph Johnson, a Flight IIA destroyer, will be equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 which incorporates Integrated Air and Missile Defense and enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities.