Bath, ME — Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) delivered remarks at the USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) christening ceremony at Bath Iron Works (BIW). Governor Janet Mills and U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) also spoke at the event. The christening ceremony was attended by members of Senator Inouye’s family and Navy officials.
“In 1961, then-Congressman Inouye came to Bath Iron Works for the launching of the USS Leahy, an early indication of the unwavering support for American seapower that marked his service in Congress. He was committed to ensuring that the men and women of our military have the most advanced technology, equipment, and ships. He knew and appreciated the key role the men and women of Bath Iron Works have played in meeting this obligation,” said Senator Collins. “Those who will serve on this ship inherit a proud legacy, and whatever challenges the future may bring, these sailors will enhance it. They will write inspiring new chapters in our nation’s naval history. Wherever the USS Daniel Inouye sails, the prayers of a grateful nation will go with her.”
“From his heroism during World War II to his decades of serving on behalf of the people of Hawaii in Congress, Daniel Inouye dedicated his life to defending his country and improving his world. Today, we christen this ship in his name so that it may carry on his lifelong mission,” said Senator King. “The men and women of BIW have built a ship of the highest quality, and those who sail it will do so with the utmost skill and dedication, so that the USS Daniel Inouye can advance the ideals that its namesake fought for every single day. It’s a pleasure to be here to honor not only an American legend, but also the thousands of men and women who have made it possible for his legacy to live on.”
The USS Daniel Inouye, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was christened in honor of the late former U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye. Senator Inouye represented Hawaii in the Senate for more than 49 years, serving as the Senate’s President pro-tempore from 2010 until his death in 2012. A lifelong public servant and a veteran who served and lost his arm during World War II, Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2000 for his heroism in WWII and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. He is the first and only senator to receive both the Medal of Freedom and the Medal of Honor.
Irene Hirano Inouye, the wife of the late Senator, served as the ship's sponsor. The future USS Daniel Inouye will be the 68th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and is one of 21 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 program. The ship is configured as a Flight IIA destroyer, which enables power projection and delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for anti-air warfare.
In December, Senators Collins, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) announced that the Navy had exercised its option for fiscal year 2019 under the current multiyear procurement contract awarded in September to build an additional DDG-51 destroyer at BIW.