PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) arrived to her new homeport of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Nov. 21.
The newest destroyer honors Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Lt. Michael P. Murphy, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan June 28, 2005.
Murphy led a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position.
Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit's location and requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover position to continue the fight until finally succumbing to wounds.
"It is great to bring this ship home," said Cmdr. Tom Shultz, commanding officer of USS Michael Murphy and its crew of nearly 300 Sailors. "This ship and crew arrive home for the first time ready to do what our namesake, Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy, did for this country and his teammates."
Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific; and Capt. Wallace Lovely greeted the crew of USS Murphy at the pier.
"I want to congratulate you on your arrival here and enjoy the Pacific Fleet 'ohana'," said Haney. "Thanks to you and everyone here, including our Navy SEALs and the joint service operators, it's a thrill to be here today for your arrival on the Navy's newest and most advanced multi-mission destroyer, USS Michael Murphy."
For many Sailors aboard the destroyer this was their first time in Hawaii, as the ship and Sailors aboard pulled into Pearl Harbor decorated with traditional Hawaiian leis.
"Today as we came into port, it was like nothing I've seen before," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Hayleigh Mullins. "We got hyped up, we've been waiting for this day and no one slept last night. When we were coming in we got to man the rails very early so we got to watch the whole travel into Hawaii and it was very welcoming with ships whistling and everybody standing out, it was the best feeling in the world."
The naming of the Navy destroyer for Michael Murphy is one of several tributes to the Navy SEAL. Murphy has also been recognized by having a park in Long Island named after him; a monument at a post office in his hometown dedicated to Murphy and the others that who died; and a veterans' plaza in his name at Penn State University.
"USS Michael Murphy, the most flexible, lethal and multi-mission capable ship of its kind, represents the backbone of our surface combatant fleet," said Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert. "It is one of the best destroyers in the world. This ship will operate forward around the globe, assuring allies, projecting power and defending our nation. And, like its namesake Lt. Michael Murphy, this ship will serve to protect, influence and win in an era of uncertainty."
Designated DDG 112, Michael Murphy is the 62nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, capable of conducting operations from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Michael Murphy is capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare.
The 9,200-ton Michael Murphy was built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and has a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.