Bath-built USS Michael Murphy leaves Pearl Harbor on first deployment

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BATH — The Bath Iron Works-built guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy left its home base in Pearl Harbor on Monday on its first operational deployment.

The ship is headed to the western Pacific Ocean, where it will “conduct goodwill activities with partner nations, along with various presence operations including Oceania Maritime Security Initiative,” the U.S. Navy said in a news release.

“USS Michael Murphy’s deployment to the western Pacific is another example of our important role in the rebalance to Asia-Pacific and our commitment to the nation’s maritime strategy anywhere in the world,” Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, said in the release. “I am confident in the capabilities and commitment of the men and women aboard USS Michael Murphy, they are ready to operate forward and lead the way.”

The 62nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the USS Michael Murphy was expected to be the last of that line. The ship was christened in May 2011, left Bath in September 2012 and was commissioned in October 2012.

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The Navy subsequently restarted the Arleigh Burke-class line, and in June 2013 the Navy awarded BIW contracts to build four of that model of destroyer. In March, a fifth was added.

The USS Michael Murphy is named for SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a New York native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

The destroyer was joined Monday by a law enforcement attachment from the U.S. Coast Guard, which will participate in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, “enforcing maritime law from the ship to administer U.S. and Pacific Island Nations fisheries laws and suppress illicit activities,” according to the Navy.

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