On Saturday, Oct. 31, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works christened the U.S. Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer Rafael Peralta (DDG 115). The ship is named for Sgt. Rafael Peralta, U.S. Marine Corps, who was deployed to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was killed November 15, 2004, during the Second Battle of Fallujah in house-to-house urban combat. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics.
The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at Bath Iron Works’ shipyard with the Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert B. Neller as the ceremony’s principal speaker. Rosa Maria Peralta, Sgt. Peralta’s mother, is the ship’s sponsor and she officially christened the ship by breaking a bottle of champagne against the ship’s bow.
Fred Harris, president of Bath Iron Works, said, “We all understand the importance of what we do –building ships that will protect our sailors and marines, providing them the best possible tools to do their jobs. We know the ships we build will be called upon to go anywhere, at any time, in harm’s way. Every day we honor the service and sacrifice of those whose names our ships carry by building each ship to our high standards of quality.”
The shipyard began fabrication on DDG 115 in November 2011, and delivery to the Navy is scheduled for 2016.
DDG 51 destroyers are multi-mission combatants offering defense against a wide range of threats, including ballistic missiles. It operates in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups, providing a complete array of anti-submarine, anti-air and anti-surface capabilities.