The USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), the Navy's newest guided-missile destroyer, was christened April 8 at Huntington Ingalls Industries Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, UPI reports.

The vessel is the first to take the name and is in honor of Paul Ignatius, who served as the secretary of the Navy, assistant secretary of defense for installations and logistics, as well as a commissioned lieutenant in the Navy during World War II.

The principal speaker at the ceremony was Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, while Nancy Ignatius, wife of Paul Ignatius, served as the ship’s sponsor.

Nancy Ignatius, Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Paul Ignatius (DDG 117)

Ship’s sponsor Nancy Ignatius christens the guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), named for her husband, former Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius, on April 8, 2017, in Pascagoula, Miss. Also pictured are Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson, left; Cmdr. Robby Trotter, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Dr. Elisa Ignatius, granddaughter of Paul and Nancy Ignatius; Paul Ignatius, the ship’s namesake; Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.
Photo Credit: Andrew Young/Navy via Huntington Ingalls Industries

The 509-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is the fifth of 14 ships that are under contract for the DDG 51 program and has a Flight IIA destroyer configuration.

"When the future USS Paul Ignatius joins the fleet, it will serve for decades as a reminder of Secretary Ignatius's service to our nation as both a naval officer and as the civilian leader of our Navy and Marine Corps," said acting secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley in a press release published on Friday April 7.

Rachael Kalinyak is an editorial intern with Network Solutions.

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