US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has announced that the Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, DDG 123, will be named Lenah H Sutcliffe Higbee.
The vessel will be named in honour of US Navy chief nurse, Lenah H Sutcliffe Higbee, who served as the superintendent of the US Navy Nurse Corps during World War I and was the first female recipient of the Navy Cross.
Ray Mabus said: "It is a great honour to name this ship in recognition of Lenah H Sutcliffe Higbee.
"I have no doubt that all who serve aboard her will carry on the legacy of service and commitment exemplified by this pioneer of US Navy Nurse Corps."
The DDG 123 destroyer will be the second to be named after Higbee. The former Gearing-class destroyer USS Higbee (DD-806) was the first US warship named for a female member of the US Navy.
Mabus added: "This ship will be a part of our fleet for decades, and the legacy of Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee and her service to our nation will live on for decades through the ship’s voyages across the oceans, and through the lives of the crew who will sail aboard it."
Under a $618m contract modification awarded by the US Navy, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ division Ingalls Shipbuilding is responsible for construction of the Arleigh Burke-class DDG 123 destroyer.
The Arleigh-Burke class destroyers can be deployed on missions ranging from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection.
The 509ft-long DDG 123 will be capable of operating at a speed of more than 30k.
It will be equipped with offensive and defensive weapon systems to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defence and vertical launch capabilities.
Image: An Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS Halsey (DDG-97). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman John Grandin.