US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has announced that the future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer (DDG 119) will be christened USS Delbert D Black.

The warship is being named in honour of the first master chief petty officer of the navy (MCPON).

Nabus said: "In the navy, per traditional ship-naming convention, our destroyers are named after naval heroes.

"A list of his tough duty assignments may give us a small glimpse of the service master chief Black gave to this country, but it doesn’t even begin to cover the numerous lives he touched or personal sacrifices he made for his sailors and our navy. He is a true hero."

In 1967, master chief gunner mate Delbert Black was selected to be the senior enlisted advisor of the navy. The title was later changed to master chief petty officer of the navy.

According to Mabus, the role of the office of the MCPON is to act as an advisor to the chief of naval operations and to represent sailors and their families.

"It is the second of five DDG 51 destroyers that the company is building for the US Navy."

On 17 March 2014, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division received a $602m contract modification to fund construction of the DDG 119 destroyer.

It is the second of five DDG 51 destroyers that the company is building for the US Navy.

So far, the company has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the navy and currently has two more under construction.

The Arleigh Burke-class multi-mission combatants can execute missions from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.

The vessels support carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups.

Image: US Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus announced DDG 119 as the future USS Delbert D Black during a ceremony held outside the United States Navy Memorial. Photo: courtesy of (US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 1st class Martin L Carey/Released).