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HII Moves Closer to Future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee’s Introduction to Navy Fleet

DDG 123 christening HII
DDG 123 christening, HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries has christened an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer named after the Navy Cross' first female recipient in preparation for its introduction to the U.S. Navy fleet.

DDG 123 or the future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee underwent its christening in Pascagoula, Mississippi, with Ray Mabus, former Navy secretary, serving as the ceremony's keynote speaker, HII said Sunday.

As a Flight IIA destroyer, the ship is configured to enable power projection, deliver quick reaction time, demonstrate high power and feature enhanced electronic countermeasures capability for anti-air warfare. It measures 509.5 feet long and 59 feet wide and has a displacement of 9,496 tons.

It is one of 20 ships that will be delivered under the DDG 51 program. The future 73rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will be homeported in San Diego.

Louisa Dixon, Pickett Wilson and Virginia Munford, the women who supported Mabus during his time as Mississippi's governor, served as the ship's sponsors. 

Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, the ship's namesake, was a superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps, which she joined in October 1908.

“Superintendent Higbee’s legacy is a heroic account of a fearless pioneer, a leader among men and women, an advocate and an agent for necessary change," said Rear Adm. Cynthia Kuehner, who leads Naval Medical Forces Support Command.

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