By Ray O'Hanlon firstname.lastname@example.org
The gathering naval force in the eastern Mediterranean has an Irish name in its line of ships.
The USS Barry, named after Commodore John Barry, father and first flag officer of the United States Navy, is one of five Arleigh Burke class destroyers in the force that could launch a strike against Bashar Assad's Syria in a matter of days. The Barry, designated DDG-52, is a guided missile destroyer that was commissioned in 1992 and named after Wexford-born Commodore John Barry (1745-1803). In its years of service, the Barry has received many awards, including the Battenberg Cup for the years 1994, 1996, and 1998. The ship has also been awarded the navy's Battle E award four times, and received the Golden Anchor and Silver Anchor Awards. In 2004, the Barry was awarded the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for being the most improved ship in the Atlantic Fleet. Commodore John Barry was initially an officer in the Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War. He was the first captain of a U.S. warship commissioned for service under the Continental flag. After the war, Barry became America's first commissioned naval officer, at the rank of Commodore, receiving his commission from President George Washington in 1797. Down the years Barry was widely seen as the "father" of the United States Navy, but his historical position was made fully official when President George W. Bush confirmed him as "first flag officer."
In recent years the Ancient Order of Hibernians has been working to complete the "Barry Gate" memorial at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.