BATH, Maine — The future USS Rafael Peralta, the 35th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to be built by Bath Iron Works, will be christened on Oct. 31.
The DDG 115 destroyer is named for Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a rifleman in the U.S. Marine Corps who was killed in action on Nov. 15, 2004, in Fallujah, Iraq.
He was awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart, among other honors.
Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, will speak at the ceremony, along with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley, each member of Maine’s Congressional delegation, Vice Adm. Robin Braun, chief of the Navy Reserve and commander of the Navy Reserve Force, and Fred Harris, president of Bath Iron Works and NASSCO, among others. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
The destroyer is 509 feet long, more than 60 feet wide and carries a crew of 279, according to a shipyard release. The contract for the DDG 115 was awarded to Bath Iron Works in September 2011, and fabrication began two months later.
After the 90-minute ceremony, the destroyer will begin to move from the land level transfer facility to the dry dock. On Sunday, the dry dock will move into the middle of the Kennebec River and be lowered, allowing the ship to float off.
The future USS Rafael Peralta, which will be stationed in San Diego, California, is scheduled to have initial operational capability in 2017.