US Navy

US Navy names two future Arleigh Burke-class destroyers

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro has revealed the names of the navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, the future USS Richard J. Danzig (DDG 143) and the future USS Michael G. Mullen (DDG 144).

Illustration. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104). Photo: US Navy

As informed, the naming happened during a U.S. Naval Academy Commencement Week ceremony, May 22.

DDG 143 honors the Honorable Richard J. Danzig, the 71st Secretary of the Navy, and DDG 144 honors retired Admiral Michael J. Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations. These are the first ships to bear their names.

“Secretary Danzig and Admiral Mullen were visionary leaders in the mold of the greatest naval leaders that came before. Together they have nearly 100 years of service,” said Secretary Del Toro.

“Both Secretary Danzig and Admiral Mullen worked tirelessly to ensure our Sailors and Marines had the resources, technologies, and capabilities to set them up for success. I am proud to honor them with these new DDGs.”

Secretary Danzig served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1977 to 1981, first as a Deputy Assistant Secretary, then as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics.

In these roles, he contributed to the Department’s mobilization and deployment of manpower and material. Secretary Danzig later served as Under Secretary of the Navy from November 1993 to May 1997, before being sworn in as Secretary of the Navy on November 16, 1998. 

Meanwhile, commissioned in 1968, Michael Mullen first deployed aboard the USS Collett (DD 730) for operations off the coast of Vietnam as part of U.S. Seventh Fleet. 

As Chief of Naval Operations, Mullen led the united maritime strategy, oversaw support for the Global War on Terror, and expanded relations with partners and allies. 

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he focused on Joint/combined combat operations in Afghanistan and Libya as well as a major humanitarian operation in Japan; implemented the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell; and stood up U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Cyber Command.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, built around the Aegis Combat System, are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet.

They incorporate stealth techniques, allowing these highly capable, multi-mission ships to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface domains. 

“DDG 143 and DDG 144, once built and commissioned, will be the most technologically advanced warships ever built, just as Jack H. Lucas, Carney, Arleigh Burke, and each of their predecessors in the long and storied life of the class,” said Secretary Del Toro.