The United States Navy has commissioned the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), meaning that it is now fully operational. It’s an Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer, and has been in production since 26 Sept., 2011. This is the 64th of 75 total Arleigh Burke-class ships that have been planned. It has several upgrades from its predecessors, including the Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense system that greatly increases the ships’ abilities to fight in the water in collaborative efforts with both ships and aircraft; it also has mine detecting capabilities. The ship holds 315 crew, and will be based out of Everett, WA.
The ship was docked in Charleston, SC, and over 6,000 people watched as it was put into service.
The USS Ralph Johnson’s namesake is PFC Ralph Johnson of the U.S. Marines. He was killed in action on March 19, 1968. Fighting from a covered position, a hand grenade was thrown at him and his fellow Marines. He jumped on top of the grenade, definitively saving the life of at least one other Marine, and enabling the rest to hold that current position. He was 19 at the time, and he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor.
You can read Private First Class Ralph Johnson’s MOH citation here: