The first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), arrived at its new homeport in San Diego Oct. 25.

The Navy commissioned Jack H. Lucas, Oct. 7, 2023, during a ceremony in Tampa, Florida under the leadership of Carrier Strike Group 11. The destroyer is assigned to U.S. 3rd Fleet.

“I am so proud of all of the Sailors of Jack H. Lucas, who truly embody the indestructible mindset of the namesake,” said Capt. Brett Oster, commanding officer of Jack H. Lucas. “They have worked tirelessly on all qualifications and certifications, setting the bar and allowing the ship to arrive in San Diego to reunite with family and friends on schedule.”

The crew of the Jack H. Lucas successfully completed a safe voyage from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Tampa while executing critical evolutions to include navigation check ride, engineering drills, and a missile launch using the latest ship-based radar and weapons systems. The ship and crew were welcomed by thousands of guests who were given the opportunity to tour the vessel in anticipation of the commissioning ceremony.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by more than 5,000 guests including family and friends of the crew, the local community of Tampa Bay, and distinguished officials. This event marked a significant milestone for the vessel and her crew and served as a testament to their dedication and hard work.

Following commissioning, the ship continued its journey to the Pacific Ocean by successfully transiting the Panama Canal and making stops in Rodman, Panama and Manzanillo, Mexico.

“I am immensely proud of our incredibly talented crew, taking the ship underway a week before conducting two sea and anchors in Tampa and completing a skillful Panama Canal transit while en route to our homeport San Diego,” said Cmdr. Matthew Kleine, executive officer of Jack H. Lucas.

Upon arrival to San Diego, Jack H. Lucas was given a warm welcome from 300 friends and family members as it pulled into its new homeport for the first time. The reception was a testament to the strong bonds forged between the crew and their loved ones throughout their voyage.

In the coming year, the ship will undergo a series of rigorous tests to evaluate its combat readiness and effectiveness. These tests will serve as a critical assessment of the vessel’s combat capability and will ensure that the Flight III variant destroyer is ready to serve in the Navy.

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Jack H. Lucas was launched on June 4, 2021, and delivered to the U.S. Navy March 26, 2022. The ship was commissioned in Port of Tampa, Florida on Oct. 7, 2023, and then transited to her homeport at Naval Base San Diego, California.