Larsen: Navy Shows Commitment To NSE With A New Destroyer

Feb 29, 2016 Issues: Supporting our Naval Bases

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, released the following statement today after the U.S. Navy announced that it will homeport a new destroyer at Naval Station Everett. The Navy had already committed to homeporting five destroyers at the base, and today’s announcement brings the total to six. The USS Ralph Johnson is a new destroyer that will be commissioned in FY2017.

“Today’s announcement highlights the crucial role that Naval Station Everett plays in keeping our country safe and protecting our interests worldwide. Homeporting a new destroyer in Everett shows the Navy’s ongoing commitment to the base as a critical component of our country’s Asia-Pacific security strategy.

“Ensuring the Navy maintains a strong presence in Everett has always been a priority for me. I have advocated for new destroyers at Naval Station Everett for more than 10 years, and I have had many discussions with Navy officials about homeporting critical assets in Everett.

“On top of the base’s strategically important location, its facilities are among the best the Navy has to offer. Local officials and community leaders have worked hard together to support sailors and their families stationed at ‘The Sailor’s Choice’ in Everett. I look forward to welcoming the USS Ralph Johnson to Everett and letting its sailors and families know they are an important part of our community,” Larsen said.

In April 2015, the Navy announced it would base the USS Kidd, USS Gridley and USS Sampson in Everett. The destroyers will replace frigates that were recently decommissioned, and they are all scheduled to arrive throughout 2016.

The ship is named for Marine Private First Class Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Pfc. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968. Pfc. Johnson was from South Carolina, and he was 19 years old when he died in service to our country.

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