On June 12, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Pre Commissioning Unit Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), will be commissioned during a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Boston.
Thomas Hudner, commanded by Cmdr. Nathan Scherry, a Peculiar, Missouri native, is the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and the 36th DDG 51 class destroyer built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW). It is the first warship named for naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas J. Hudner.
Hudner, a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in 1950. Hudner crash landed his plane in an unsuccessful effort to save the life of his wingman and friend, Ensign Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African American combat pilot.
In fall of 2015, the keel of Thomas Hudner was laid down. The ship was christened on April 1, 2017 during a snowy ceremony at the BIW shipyard in Bath, Maine and launched several weeks later on April 23.
Arleigh Burke (DDG 51 class) class destroyers are highly-capable, multi-mission ships that conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security. These DDGs provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface, and subsurface environments. The ship’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense radar will provide increased computing power and radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare threats, as well as ballistic missile defense. The Aegis Combat System will enable the ship to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battle space, and effectively increase the theater space. New ships in this class, such as Thomas Hudner, have anti-ballistic missile capabilities as well. The DDG’s all-steel construction provides a survivable platform.