Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) departed from HII’s (NYSE: HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division Monday. DDG 123 will be commissioned next month at the Port of Key West in Key West, Florida, before sailing to its homeport in San Diego.
“Watching Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee sail away is a proud moment for our entire DDG shipbuilding team,” Ingalls Shipbuilding Vice President of Operations Donny Dorsey said. “Our shipbuilders continue to deliver some of the most capable destroyers to the fleet, and DDG 123 is no exception.”
Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee is the 34th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Ingalls has built for the U.S. Navy and is the final Flight IIA ship built at Ingalls as the Navy transitions to Flight III destroyers. Ingalls currently has in production the future Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyers Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), Ted Stevens (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), George M. Neal (DDG 131), and Sam Nunn (DDG 133). The Flight III upgrade incorporates a number of design modifications that collectively provide significantly enhanced capability. The first Flight III ship will deliver to Navy later this year.
DDG 123 is named to honor Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, a Navy nurse and first living woman to receive the Navy Cross for her heroic actions during World War I. Higbee joined the Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as “The Sacred Twenty,” and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911. The ship’s motto truly reflects the heritage of this naval hero — Bellatrix illa, meaning “she is a warrior.”
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the national defense strategy. Guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. These ships contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.