Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) cuts the first steel plate for the USS Patrick Gallagher. Dennis Griggs/U.S. Navy photo.
By Ray O’Hanlon
It wasn’t a foundation stone but rather the first cut of steel.
The work of constructing the USS Patrick Gallagher is now underway at Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine.
The building of the 509-foot long Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer named after the County Mayo-born Vietnam War hero is being undertaken by General Dynamics.
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The ceremonial first cut of steel plate for what is officially designated DDG-127 was undertaken by Senator Susan Collins at the company facility.
According to the Naval-technology.com website, Program Executive Office and DDG class program manager, Captain Casey Moton said it was exciting to commence construction on what will be the 77th ship of the Arleigh Burke-class.
“Not only will this ship continue the legacy of enduring warfighting capability, it will carry with it the strength and courage demonstrated by its namesake.”
According to the website’s report, the future USS Patrick Gallagher will be the last “Flight IIA configuration destroyer constructed by GD BIW.”
Once operational with the U.S. Navy, the vessel will be deployed to enhance the country’s global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense.
In addition, it is intended to deliver increased capabilities in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as command and control.
Other future Arleigh Burke-class surface vessels currently being built at the BIW facility are Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122), and Harvey C Barnum Jr (DDG 124).
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Patrick Gallagher, from Derintogher, Ballyhaunis, won the Navy Cross for heroism in Vietnam, but was shot dead on March 30, 1967 while on Patrol in Da Nang, this at the very end of his tour of duty. He was 23 years of age.