Brunswick, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins delivered remarks and joined in cutting the first piece of steel at the start of fabrication ceremony for the USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127). The event took place at BIW’s Hardings Fabrication facility in Brunswick.
Senator Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, played a key role in securing funding for the procurement of DDG 127 at BIW in both the fiscal year (FY) 2016 and 2017 funding bills.
“It is so exciting to be part of the front end of a long and challenging process that defines why ‘Bath built is best built’ is not just a slogan, but a way of life. And just as with your co-workers at Bath, your skill, commitment to excellence, and perhaps most important, your hearts, go into every ship that begins here,” said Senator Collins during her remarks.
“Navy ships sail the globe and, where necessary, sail into battle. They demonstrate the strength of American power and resolve. It is fitting, therefore, that our ships bear the names of individuals who have displayed uncommon valor, notable commitment, unwavering sacrifice, and extraordinary service in support of these missions,” Senator Collins continued. “I am certain that the namesake of DDG 127, Lance Corporal Patrick Gallagher, will inspire you as you build this magnificent ship in his honor.”
In March, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced that DDG 127 would be named after Lance Cpl. Patrick “Bob” Gallagher. Gallagher immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1962 and joined the Marine Corps in 1966, where he served in the 3rd Marine Division in South Vietnam. Gallagher was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on July 18, 1966, when he selflessly threw his body on an incoming grenade, shielding his fellow Marines. He was able to throw it away from his unit before it exploded. Gallagher was killed in action one year later on March 30, 1967.
Part of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the future USS Patrick Gallagher will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.