Lt. Michael Murphy died while on a reconnaissance mission in Operation Red Wings
in June 2005. Lt. Murphy was killed because he made a choice as the leader of his SEAL team to not kill three non-combatant goat herders the team came across.
The goat herders reported the position of the SEAL team to the Taliban, and several dozen insurgents attacked the SEAL team.
Due to the mountainous terrain, radio contact was not available for an air support call. As the team leader, Lt. Murphy stepped into the open to make the call and was shot in the back twice. Despite being mortally wounded, Lt. Murphy sat up and finished making the call for support.
For his action, and bravery, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously. In honor of Lt Murphy, the newest of the Arleigh-Burke
class of destroyers was named after him, with Lt. Murphy's mother Maureen Murphy as the ships sponsor.
The contract was given to Bath Iron Works in September 2001 and the keel was laid in June 2010. With the christening on May 7, 2011, the ship was moved to a dry dock to finish the construction process.
Today on October 6, 2012 the ship was commissioned by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, and placed in service, with its home port being in Hawai'i. The ship is 510 feet long, weighs 9,200 tons and has a crew of 290. The Arleigh-Burke class of destroyer is fitted with the Aegis Combat
System, and as such is suited for multiple warfare roles.
Lt. Murphy was the first member of the US Navy to receive the Medal of Honor since the Viet Nam war. NBC
and Business Insider
reported this story.
Secretary Mabus is quoted at Military.com:
"It is absolutely fitting that the USS Michael Murphy bears a SEAL trident on her crest because, much like Michael and every Navy SEAL who has earned the honor of wearing the trident, this ship is designed to counter threats from above and below the surface of the oceans, in the air and on land."