US Navy Secretary (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro has revealed the name of future Arleigh Burke-class Flight III guided-missile destroyer, DDG 140.

The vessel has been named in honour of US Navy former captain Thomas Gunning Kelley, who is also a recipient of Medal of Honour.

The name was announced during the 35th annual Surface Navy Association National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia on 12 January. 

Del Toro said: “May we all, especially the future men and women assigned to this ship, always be inspired by Kelley’s brilliant leadership, bold initiative and resolute determination.”

Kelley began his journey with the US Navy by serving as a Surface Warfare Officer for different vessels, such as USS Pandemus (ARL-18) and USS Stickell (DD-888), during his early assignments.

He was then deployed in Vietnam in 1969 as a lieutenant commanding for the US Navy’s River Assault Division 152.

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During this deployment, his detachment fell under attack, however, Kelly continued to save his troop, for which he was awarded with the Medal of Honour.

Kelley said. “It is a tremendous honour, and I am truly humbled, especially as a surface warfare sailor.”

The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class fleet of multi-mission destroyer can perform various operations, such as national security missions, peacetime presence as well as multi-threat air, subsurface and surface warfare missions.

The Flight III baseline starts with DDG 125, 126, 128 and includes the other follow-on ships, including DDG 140. The upgraded Flight III fleet features AN/SPY-6(V)1 air and missile defence radar (AMDR) system.

The first Flight III ship Jack H Lucas has already completed builder’s trials last month.

Recently, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has started the fabrication of Arleigh Burke-class vessel Sam Nunn (DDG 133).