The U.S. Navy will commission the destroyer Rafael Peralta on Saturday morning in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, according to a Defense Department release.
The guided missile destroyer is named after Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who was killed in November 2004 during the Second Battle of Fallujah.
Peralta is credited with saving the lives of several Marines from a grenade blast, according to the Military Times Hall of Valor. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
“This commissioning memorializes the life of Sgt. Rafael Peralta and marks the beginning of what will be decades of exceptional service for this ship,” said Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy. “He was proud to be an American, proud to be a Marine, and we are proud to welcome USS Rafael Peralta to the Fleet. I have no doubt the men and women who serve aboard Peralta will continue his legacy of service.”
Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony’s address. Peralta’s mother, Rosa Maria Peralta, will sponsor the ship.