The United States Navy will commission its latest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), in a ceremony on May 13, in Key West, Florida.
Date and Time : May 13 2023 9:45 AM EDT to May 13 2023 11:30 AM EDT
Rear Admiral Cynthia Kuehner, Commander of Naval Medical Forces Support Command and Director of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, will deliver the principal address during the commissioning ceremony. Distinguished speakers will also include Honorable Donald Norcross, U.S. Representative from New Jersey’s 1st District; Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy; Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations; Honorable Teri Johnston, Mayor of Key West; and Ms. Kari Wilkinson, President of Huntington Ingalls Industries-Ingalls Shipbuilding division. The ship’s sponsors, Ms. Louisa Dixon, Ms. Virginia Munford, and Ms. R. Pickett Wilson, will also be present.
The ship honors Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, the second Superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps and the first woman to receive the Navy Cross. As part of the “Sacred Twenty,” the pioneering group of women who joined the Navy Nurse Corps in 1908, Higbee made significant contributions during World War I. This is the second ship named after her, following the USS Higbee (DD 806), the first combat warship named after a female member of the U.S. Navy.
Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro commended Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee’s groundbreaking legacy, highlighting her achievements and emphasizing the crew’s commitment to honoring her trailblazing spirit.
The USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee will be the 72nd commissioned Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, with additional ships currently contracted under the DDG 51 program. Configured as a Flight IIA destroyer, it boasts impressive power projection capabilities, rapid response time, enhanced firepower, and advanced electronic countermeasures for anti-air warfare. The vessel measures 509.5 feet in length, 59 feet in width, and has a displacement of 9,496 tons. Its homeport will be in San Diego.