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Contents LETTERS

6 Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan 9 President George W. Bush 11 Mayor Michael Bloomberg 13 Publisher David Peabody 14 Daniel J. Murphy and the Murphy Family FEATURES

15 Ship’s Sponsor Maureen Murphy 16 Lt. Michael Murphy: An Appreciation 22 The Men of Operation RED WINGS 28 Operation RED WINGS: Sketch by Peter K. Hsu 30 Medal of Honor Citation LETTERS

33 James D. White 35 Bob Kerrey 37 Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire 39 Anthony M. Fabbo Jr. 41 Walter A. Poggi 43 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta 45 Donald J. Rumsfeld 47 Navy Secretary Ray Mabus

49 Gen. Martin E. Dempsey 51 Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. 53 Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert 55 Adm. William H. McRaven 57 Rear Adm. G.J. Bonelli 59 Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy R.D. West 61 Jeffrey S. Geiger

SHIP’S LEADERSHIP

63 Cmdr. Thomas Shultz 65 Cmdr. Corey Turner 67 Command Master Chief Matthew E. Danforth USS MICHAEL MURPHY DDG 112

68 Building the Ship 74 Christening the Ship: A Photo Story 76 Artwork by Peter K. Hsu 78 Donors, Commissioning Committee 81 Friends and Supporters MORE THAN WORDS

82 Portrait by Gerald Slater

Cover Design by Matthew Cerra 5

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Letter from

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan Archbishop of New York

The  Murphy  family  is  pleased  to  welcome  the  families  of  the  heroes  of   Operation  Redwings,  Commander  Shultz,  the  command  staff  and  the   crew  of  our  son’s  namesake,  the  USS  Michael  Murphy  DDG-­112,  to  New   York  City.  This  is  a  momentous  day  in  which  the  USS  Michael  Murphy  is   EHLQJFRPPLVVLRQHGDVD8QLWHG6WDWHV6KLSLQWRWKH3DFL¿F)OHHW While  this  ship  bears  the  name  of  our  son,  Navy  SEAL  LT  Michael  P.   Murphy,  it  also  embodies  the  spirit  of  all  11  Navy  SEALs  and  the  8  Night   Stalkers  who  lost  their  lives  on  June  28,  2005.  These  men  of  Operation   Redwings  will  forever  be  synonymous  with  the  words  honor,  duty,  loyalty   and  courage. 7KLVVKLS¶VPRWWRLV³/HDGWKH)LJKW´DQGLWLVWUXO\DQDZHLQVSLULQJ description  of  the  sailors  who  man  this  wonderful  ship  and  carry  with   WKHPWKHOHJDF\RIVHUYLFHDQGVDFUL¿FHRIWKHVHEUDYHVRXOV,ZLVK the  command  staff  and  crew  of  the  USS  Michael  Murphy  a  safe  journey,   fair  winds  and  a  steady  hand  on  the  rudder  of  life.  May  you  all  achieve   the  dreams  you  seek  because  the  men  of  Operation  Redwings  laid  down   their  lives  for  the  freedom  and  safety  of  our  great  Nation. God  Bless  You  All  and  God  Bless  America.

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


The Team

USS MICHAEL MURPHY DDG 112 COMMISSIONING PUBLICATION A DEFENSE STANDARD Publication PUBLICATION STAFF:

USS MICHAEL MURPHY DDG 112

Publisher: David Peabody

COMMISSIONING COMMITTEE:

Managing Editor: Julie Bird

Chairman: James D. White

Editorial Contributor: Tom Breen

Honorary Co-Chairman: Senator Bob Kerrey

Executive Vice President: Kelly Montgomery

Honorary Co-Chairman: Vice Admiral Joe Maguire

Vice President Operations: Daniel Peabody

Ship’s Sponsor/Michael’s Mother: Maureen Murphy

Senior Adviser: Steven Zheutlin, Ph.D.

Michael’s Father: Daniel J. Murphy

Creative Director: Julie Brookins

President, LIC, NLUS*: Tom Matteo

Design Coordinator: Samantha Gibbons

Vice President, LIC, NLUS*: Daniel C. Wynn

Military & Government Relations:

Finance Committee Chair: Anthony M. Fabbo

Martin J. McAuliffe

Crew Events Chair: Walter Poggi

Lead Researcher: Lee Anne McAuliffe

Invitations: Owen Watford

Advertising Manager: Bill Clark

Commander, Murphy Division, Naval Sea Cadets:

Account Representative: Aaron Medina

Gary Vertichio

Assistant to the Publisher: Benjamin Peabody

Fundraising: Jo Lombardi Fundraising: Paul Trenholm

USS MICHAEL MURPHY DDG 112

Web Design: Scott Koen

SHIP LEADERSHIP:

Penn State Representative: Henry Rainone

Commander: Commander Thomas E. Shultz

Media Team Leader: David Peabody

Executive Officer: Commander Corey J. Turner Command Master Chief: Matthew E. Danforth

*Long Island Council, Navy League of the United States

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: John Murphy, Ronnie Cohen, Kim Wolfert, Nate Evans, Jim DeMartini, Gerald Slater, Peter K. Hsu, Sherrie Kreth, Michael Clarke, Kimo Forrest, Anita Cox, FrancoisOlivier Luiggi, Gary Williams, Michael Murphy McIntyre, John Carl Roat. DEFENSE STANDARD would like to extend its deepest appreciation to Daniel J. Murphy and Maureen Murphy, without whose assistance and unending support this publication would not have been possible. DEDICATION In Memory of

Frank Jones

Oct. 8, 1927 – Sept. 21, 2012 Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 7


Letter from

President George W. Bush

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 9


Letter from THE HONORABLE

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg 0GmDFPGUIF.BZPS /FX:PSL$JUZ

11

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 11


Letter from

David Peabody Publisher 644.JDIBFM.VSQIZ%%( $PNNJTTJPOJOH1VCMJDBUJPO

13

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 13


Letter from

Daniel J. Murphy & the Murphy Family

The  Murphy  family  is  pleased  to  welcome  the  families  of  the  heroes  of   Operation  Redwings,  Commander  Shultz,  the  command  staff  and  the   crew  of  our  son’s  namesake,  the  USS  Michael  Murphy  DDG-­112,  to  New   York  City.  This  is  a  momentous  day  in  which  the  USS  Michael  Murphy  is   EHLQJFRPPLVVLRQHGDVD8QLWHG6WDWHV6KLSLQWRWKH3DFL¿F)OHHW While  this  ship  bears  the  name  of  our  son,  Navy  SEAL  LT  Michael  P.   Murphy,  it  also  embodies  the  spirit  of  all  11  Navy  SEALs  and  the  8  Night   Stalkers  who  lost  their  lives  on  June  28,  2005.  These  men  of  Operation   Redwings  will  forever  be  synonymous  with  the  words  honor,  duty,  loyalty   and  courage. 7KLVVKLS¶VPRWWRLV³/HDGWKH)LJKW´DQGLWLVWUXO\DQDZHLQVSLULQJ description  of  the  sailors  who  man  this  wonderful  ship  and  carry  with   WKHPWKHOHJDF\RIVHUYLFHDQGVDFUL¿FHRIWKHVHEUDYHVRXOV,ZLVK the  command  staff  and  crew  of  the  USS  Michael  Murphy  a  safe  journey,   fair  winds  and  a  steady  hand  on  the  rudder  of  life.  May  you  all  achieve   the  dreams  you  seek  because  the  men  of  Operation  Redwings  laid  down   their  lives  for  the  freedom  and  safety  of  our  great  Nation. God  Bless  You  All  and  God  Bless  America.

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Ship’s Sponsor

MAUREEN MURPHY Mother of Lt. Michael Murphy Ship’s Sponsor by Julie Bird

A

s the closest living female relative of Lt. Michael Murphy, his mother Maureen Murphy is the sponsor of the Navy guided missile destroyer named in his honor. Her role will be to bring the spirit of her son to the ship and form a personal, ongoing bond with the ship’s crew. “For me, it is very important that I take on the role of a mother figure and let each and every crew member know that they have an important job to do and are very much a part of this family,” Maureen Murphy says. “I plan on writing and visiting the ship in order to get to know each and every member on board.” Ship’s sponsors have a responsibility like no other, retired Rear Adm. Jay DeLoach, the then-director of naval history, told the Society of Sponsors of the U.S. Navy in October 2010. “For every ship, there will be a first and a last commanding officer. Their names may or may not go down in the annals of history,” DeLoach said. “However, for the entire life of that ship, you will be the one and only person that will continually be a part of her crew, and your name lives on with your ship.” DeLoach conceded the duty is likely bittersweet for many like Maureen Murphy who “probably never imagined that when their sons

joined the Marine Corps and Navy that they would one day become ship’s sponsors.” The nation, he said, is grateful for the sacrifices of the sons, husbands, fathers and brothers after whom ships are named, and for the sacrifices their families made as well. Murphy learned she would be the sponsor for the USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 on May 7, 2008 – her son’s birthday. There were two dedications to the Medal of Honor recipient on that day, she recalls. The post office in Michael’s hometown of Patchogue, N.Y., was renamed in his honor, as was a park at nearby Lake Ronkonkoma. The announcement about Murphy being the ship’s sponsor was made by former Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter during the park dedication ceremony. Murphy has been involved in every major phase of the building of the USS Michael Murphy DDG 112, including the christening. She struggled not to cry during the keel-laying ceremony in 2010, when she first saw his name emblazoned across the hull. “I was sad that he was not there, but I was also very proud,” she says. “No matter what Michael took on in life, whether it was his studies or the sports he played, he always started out very unassuming. But in the end he always, just like cream,

rose to the top. He started his military career as a serviceman and now there is this huge ship named in his honor.” For the masting ceremony, she selected several items for a steel box to be placed below the ship’s mast. The items included rosary beads for the safety of the ship’s crew, collectors’ cards of Michael and the SEAL team he gave his life to save during Operation Red Wings in June 2005, a Little League baseball card of Michael, the SEAL Trident, and coins equaling $1.12 – for DDG 112. Michael was a humble man, Murphy says, and would likely be embarrassed by all the attention. “If he was still physically around, he would be honored, but he would probably watch all of the ceremonies from the back of the crowd,” she says. “Just like in most of his photographs, he would be in the background and never up front to grab the glory.” In the ship being commissioned in his name, she is reminded about all that was good about the SEAL who was her son. “He was smart, handsome, polite, confident, had a wonderful sense of humor and a heart of gold,” she says. “He always had a great sense of right and wrong, and did the right things in life because it was the right thing to do.”

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 15


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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Photo: U.S. Navy


An Appreciation

A HERO’S LEGACY

for LT. MICHAEL MURPHY, character bred courage |

I

t started for Michael Patrick Murphy as far back as Little League, maybe before, this intense feeling of team unity. His mother remembers the game when he hit a walkoff home run, swamped by his pals, hailed as a hero, and all he could think of was making sure “his teammates knew they ‘all had won the game.’” Perhaps, then, when seeking an explanation of Murphy’s enduring legacy and unwavering courage in the unforgiving mountains of a foreign land, one need go no further than a baseball game way back in the small Long Island town of Patchogue, when a smiling Little Leaguer who hit a home run deflected attention from himself to his teammates. Murphy is a military hero, of course, the selfless Navy SEAL lieutenant and Medal of Honor recipient who on June 28, 2005,

by Tom Breen

sacrificed himself for his men. Yet his story, as his parents Dan and Maureen point out, goes far beyond his actions in Afghanistan, beyond the Medal of Honor, and beyond his enduring legacy as a military icon. It goes to his core character, the person he was as a child and as an adult. Character does not equate with perfection: No one is perfect. Rather, character is about a sense of honor and duty, whether on the Little League field, or in the no-man’s land of a faraway combat zone. It is about remembering we are all running this marathon of life together, a core value Michael Murphy took with him to his grave. He believed doing for others “was a life welllived,” his father says often. That is why his son became a lifeguard, a tutor, and eventually a SEAL.

Photos: Courtesy the Murphy Family and U.S. Navy

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 17


An Appreciation

“A memento distributed at the naming ceremony quoted Murphy’s favorite phrase, ‘Adversity builds Character.’ It was adversity that Murphy embraced.”

Photo Illustration: U.S. Navy

As the Navy christens the USS Michael Murphy on May 7 at Bath Iron Works along the Maine coast, it salutes a legacy of commitment to others that drives the military ethos, not always successfully but successfully enough. “Mike is what every American can be proud of,” then-Rear Adm. Joseph D. Kernan, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command at the time, said in 2008 at the renaming of a post office in Murphy’s honor in Patchogue, not far from the SEAL’s final resting place at the Calverton National Cemetery. A memento distributed at the naming ceremony quoted Murphy’s favorite phrase, “Adversity builds Character.” It was adversity that Murphy embraced. With honors for the slain SEAL continuing to grow, Murphy’s story bears repeating because of what it says not only about him but about the American ethos in general, and about the reasons Murphy’s legacy burns bright. In the end, Americans more often than not try hard to do the right thing, to attempt to serve others more than themselves. 18

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Born in Smithtown, N.Y., on May 7, 1976, Murphy later moved to Patchogue, where he spent his childhood and teen-age years, endearing himself to friends because of his core beliefs about the way people should be treated. In remarks delivered to the class of 2011 at their son’s alma mater, Penn State University, in early April this year, his parents Dan and Maureen emphasized the caring-for-others traits and values he carried with him into the SEALs, to Afghanistan and now to his role as the guiding spirit for a new Navy destroyer. As much as Murphy nurtured and supported friends, he also harbored a ferocious fighting spirit, probably growing out of his Irish-American roots. So it was, on a summer day in 2005, hard by the Pakistani border, he turned destroyer as well as protector, killing countless Taliban fighters as he lay dying. Only fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell survived the attack, which claimed Murphy and his SEAL teammates Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson. It also claimed another eight SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers, shot


Michael Murphy was memorialized on his birthday LQZKHQWKH3DWFKRJXH1<3RVW2IĂ&#x20AC;FH left, and the town of Brookhavenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beach park on Lake Ronkonkoma, above, were renamed in his honor. On that same day, Murphyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, Maureen, learned she had been named sponsor of the USS Michael Murphy DDG 112. Photos: U.S. Navy

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 19


Murphy earned degrees in political science and psychology and was accepted by several law schools. Instead, he joined the Navy, in part as a way to carry forward his own father’s military legacy. down in their MH-47 Chinook helicopter by enemy fire as they rushed to rescue Murphy’s embattled team. Now, seven years later, the image of the SEAL team leader leaving the protection of a rock formation to secure a better radio signal to try to save his team is the Murphy everyone knew even as a child. He was standing in the open, at risk to himself, for others. Luttrell, in a book detailing his own escape, describes Murphy as a SEAL of unparalleled courage. Murphy joined the Navy before 9/11, but the terrorist attack fired up his spirit once he entered com20

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

bat. One of his close friends from Long Island, Owen O’Callaghan, who became a fireman and then a policeman, lost a fire-fighting uncle in 9/11. Murphy wore a patch from O’Callaghan’s firehouse into battle to honor those heroes. The bond between the Murphy clan and Penn State also is particularly strong. It was at Penn State in the 1990s that Murphy came of age, mapping out career plans and falling in love with Heather Duggan, a classmate. They planned to marry after his expected return home to the states in the fall of 2005. At Penn State,


An Appreciation

Michael Murphy peers over his shoulder during a mountaintop mission in Afghanistan. Photo: U.S. Navy

Murphy earned degrees in political science and psychology and was accepted by several law schools. Instead, he joined the Navy, in part as a way to carry forward his own father’s military legacy. Murphy’s dad, a former prosecutor on Long Island and recently retired as a judicial chief law associate at the New York State Supreme Court, is partially disabled from combat wounds received in Vietnam. By becoming a Navy SEAL, his father recalled in an interview with the New York Post, “He could have the greatest impact for the good.” In Afghanistan on the day he died, it was Murphy, wearing his cherished FDNY patch, who fiercely embraced the role of safeguarding others, a role he always relished. But he was not alone. “As much as Michael fought and died for his men, Michael’s men fought and died for him,” Dan Murphy says. “They are

all heroes and as a father, I will always honor these men as my heroes.” Dan Murphy and his family, including policeman son John, 27, also are grateful for the devotion from Penn State faculty and students. For instance, the 2011 class of 2,656 seniors has pledged more than $240,000 to build a plaza honoring Murphy and other veterans. The truth is many of them likely never will join the military. Rather, it is the very idea of Michael Murphy -- a fellow graduate of unparalleled courage and a really good guy -- that draws them to him. As the years flow by, this legacy of courage and decency is his, and ours, a legacy kept alive by those who knew him, and those who didn’t, and by those who honor him daily. How could anyone not want to be like Mike? Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 21


MATTHEW G. AXELSON Cupertino, Calif.

DANNY P. DIETZ

JACQUES J. FONTAN

SHAMUS O. GOARE

COREY J. GOODNATURE

Danville, Ohio

Clarks Grove, Minn.

MICHAEL P. MURPHY

ERIC S. PATTON

JAMES W. PONDER III

Patchogue, N.Y.

Boulder City, Nev.

Franklin, Tenn.

Littleton, Colo.

New Orleans, La.

MICHAEL M. MCGREEVY

MARCUS V. MURALLES

Portville, N.Y.

Shelbyville, Ind.

OPERATION RED WINGS

An ambush, a firefight, a rescue mission, a crash – and 19 brave souls lost By Tom Breen

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Operation RED WINGS

DANIEL R. HEALY

KIP A. JACOBY

ERIK S. KRISTENSEN

JEFFERY A. LUCAS

MARCUS LUTTRELL

Exeter, N.H.

Pompano Beach, Fla.

San Diego, Calif.

Corbett, Ore.

Houston, Texas

STEPHEN C. REICH

MICHAEL L. RUSSELL

CHRIS J. SCHERKENBACH

JAMES SUH

JEFFREY S. TAYLOR

Washington Depot, Conn.

Stafford, Va.

T

Jacksonville, Fla.

he gravestone has settled into God’s good earth, out there on the Atlantic coast, peaceful and pristine, far removed from wartime. The stone at the Calverton National Cemetery honors Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy, the first SEAL since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor. Murphy’s memorial rests near the small Long Island town of Patchogue where he grew up, on the outskirts of New York City, and several thousand miles from the Afghan mountains where he died seven years ago this summer in an operation to apprehend a high-ranking enemy militant. In his Long Island town, Murphy still is remembered as the fun-loving kid who played ice hockey, read everything in sight as a Penn State college student including War and Peace, and chose the SEALs over law school. Now, Murphy, as he rests at Calverton, also is known as the hero of Hindu Kush. The night of June 28, 2005, was clear when guerrillas, probably from the Taliban, fired on Murphy’s team in Afghanistan’s

Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Midway, Va.

treacherous Hindu Kush mountain range, a subset of the Himalayans, near the Pakistan border. The guerrillas, 50 to 100 of them, depending on the report, killed Murphy and his SEAL team members, Matt Axelson and Danny Dietz. A fourth SEAL with them, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell, survived. As the three lay dying, and Luttrell unconscious, an MH-47 Chinook lightly armored helicopter tried to rescue them, but was shot down by the same guerrillas. Eight other SEALs, and eight Army Night Stalkers, died. More SEALs died on that day than in any other SEAL operation in history. Murphy made international headlines, posthumously being awarded the Medal of Honor. The other three on Murphy’s team received the secondhighest honor, the Navy Cross. Their story has been told countless times, in the press including Murphy’s hometown paper, Newsday, in Luttrell’s book, Lone Survivor, and on innumerable Internet sites.

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 23


Photo: U.S. Navy

Bearded during their tours in Afghanistan, Murphy and a colleague share a relaxed moment. Murphy was in command of the four-man team that was ambushed in the Hindu Kush mountains in June 2005. Part of Luttrell’s account tells of how Murphy exposed himself to fire, heading for an open area away from jagged cliffs so he could radio for help: “(Murphy) walked to open ground. He walked until he was more or less in the center, gunfire all around him, and he sat on a small rock and began punching the numbers to HQ. ... I could hear him talking. ‘My men are taking heavy fire -- we’re getting picked apart. My guys are dying out here -- we need help.’ ... And right then Mikey took a bullet straight in the back. I saw the blood spurt from his chest. He slumped forward, dropping his phone and his rifle. But then he braced himself, grabbed them [phone and rifle] ... sat upright again, and once more put the phone to his ear.” Dying, Murphy said on the phone, ‘Roger that, Sir, thank you,’ and continued to engage the enemy.” Murphy’s “objective was clear: to make one last valiant (effort) to save 24

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

his .... teammates.” Luttrell survived after being knocked unconscious, and was found later by friendly villagers. Murphy’s actions -- phone and rifle in hand, blood spurting -- now are engraved in SEAL lore, a lasting metaphor for the valor and loyalty to one another that defines Special Operations. Indeed, out there along the jagged cliffs of the Hindu Kush, Murphy and his team took on a mythic veneer. If it were another time in American history, during World War I or II, their valor would be locked into the American psyche, right up there with Audie Murphy from World War II, connected to Michael by spirit if not blood, and Alvin York from World War I. Yet military heroes in our current world seem to fade, recognized for a short while and then cast aside, if not forgotten. Perhaps, however, as times passes, the Saga of Red Wings will occupy its proper place in military lore.


Operation RED WINGS The story of Murphy’s uncompromising bravery, as told by Luttrell, and the valor of the other SEALs and the Army Night Stalkers, is a story that never grows old. Like any tale of war, it is overpowering in its simplicity, yet ferocious in its retelling. It is about four men on a reconnaissance mission, doing what they believed in, three of them on the ground dying, and about another 16 warriors in a helicopter, rushing into help, only to be shot down and killed. Only Luttrell lived to tell the tale.

O

peration RED WINGS’ goal on that 28th day of June in 2005 was to slay a Taliban leader in his mid30s, Ahmad Shah, who had possible ties to Osama Bin Laden. Murphy and the other members of his SEAL team left their base in Northern Afghanistan in the still of the night, heading for the border with Pakistan to carry out the mission. The Navy since has said that Shah, the target of their mission, led a guerrilla group called the Mountain Tigers, which existed in a shadowy world of death and intrigue in and around the border. (For the record, Special Operations spokesmen are unsure of the precise origin of the “RED WINGS” name, although some speculate it was tied to a sports team.) After penetrating behind enemy lines, approximately 10,000 feet up in the Hindu Kush, the four SEALs found their cover blown after meeting up with two adults and a boy, either shepherds or local villagers. In Lone Survivor, Luttrell tells of how he, Murphy, Axelson and Dietz debated whether to kill the three before ultimately deciding to release them. About an hour after the outsiders departed, an enemy force of about 50 men attacked the four-member SEAL team from three sides. The four, all wounded, leapt down the mountain’s sides, jumping as much as 30 feet, the Navy said later. Less than an hour into the battle, Murphy raced into the open, aware he could not make his distress call from the terrain where they had sought cover, and soon took the bullet in the back. Despite his wounds, Murphy was able to get help from the Special Operations Quick Reaction Force at Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base, which dispatched the MH-47 Chi-

nook helicopter carrying the eight SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers prepared to extract Murphy and the others from the fight that dragged through the hills and cliffs of the Hindu Kush. By the time it was over, after fierce fighting that lasted at least two hours, Murphy, Dietz and Axelson lay dead on the ground, and the Chinook also had fallen to enemy fire, carrying the 16 SEALs and Night Stalkers to their deaths. Military spokesmen later said the MH-47, designed to swoop in and leave quickly during rescue efforts, had been accompanied by heavily armored Army attack helicopters. The military said the “heavy weight” of the attack helicopters slowed the formation, prompting the MH-47 to race ahead, putting itself at risk in order to attempt to carry away Murphy and the others.

A

fter the deaths of Murphy, Dietz, Axelson and the 16 men aboard the MH-47, Luttrell struggled to survive on his own. As many as 35 guerrillas, probably Taliban, also died, according to subsequent military reports. Sent sprawling over a ridge after being knocked unconscious by a rocket-propelled grenade, Luttrell had a bullet wound in one leg, shrapnel burrowing into both legs, and was suffering from dehydration, he recalled later in Lone Survivor. Still, he managed to crawl away from the carnage, evading enemy guerrillas and walking several miles before friendly villagers took him in, protected him from Taliban enemy forces, and eventually transported a note to a Marine outpost, resulting in Luttrell’s rescue on July 2, 2005. If not for Luttrell’s book, written with Patrick Robinson, the story of the events that day in the Hindu Kush might not have reached the public with such force. Luttrell also fully addresses the moral dilemma the SEAL team faced that day: Release the outsiders, or kill them? Luttrell never will know if the outsiders ran to the Taliban, but the firefight started a short time later. As for Luttrell, he soon learned about humanity at its best, when villagers including a man identifying himself as a doctor risked their own lives to save him. “There was something about him,” Luttrell writes of the villager

“The story of Murphy’s uncompromising bravery... is a story that never grows old.” Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 25


Operation RED WINGS describing himself as a doctor. “By now, I’d seen a whole lot of Taliban warriors, and he looked nothing like any of them. There was no arrogance, no hatred in his eyes.”

W

ith yet another anniversary of the American deaths in the Hindu Kush passing, the awarding of another Medal of Honor to another SEAL, for bravery in Iraq in 2006, and the May 7 christening of the DDG 112, the USS Michael Murphy, the missions and makeup of the elite Navy unit are starting to attract more interest among the American public. For recruiters trying to beef up elite SEAL units, this is good news. Established by President Kennedy in 1963, the SEALs (for Sea, Air and Land) describe themselves as “a small, elite maritime military force” conducting unconventional warfare, and carrying out “the types

of clandestine, small-unit, high-impact missions that large forces with high-profile platforms (such as ships, tanks, jets and submarines) cannot.” SEALs also “conduct essential on-the-ground Special Reconnaissance of critical targets for imminent strikes by larger conventional forces.” When you read a description such as that, of what SEALs do, it sounds so sterile, so matter of fact. It does not talk about the firefight in the Hindu Kush, about Murphy standing in the open seeking help for his men, after a bullet hits him, and of the 16 SEALs and Night Stalkers aboard the MH-47 who broke from their formation to sacrifice themselves to retrieve the embattled SEALs on the ground. It also does not talk about the tears still being shed at the resting places of Murphy (Section 67, Grave 3710, Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island) and the others, or about bravery and loyalty that in many ways is incomprehensible.

Photo: U.S. Navy

Murphy, far right, and members of his SEAL team pose in this undated photo from Afghanistan. 26

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


ROLL CALL The Men of

Operation RED WINGS SEALs

on the Ground

LT. MICHAEL P. MURPHY Patchogue, N.Y. age 29

HOSPITAL CORPSMAN 2ND CLASS

MARCUS LUTTRELL

(SURVIVED THE AMBUSH)

Houston, Texas

SONAR TECHNICIAN (SURFACE) 2ND CLASS

MATTHEW G. AXELSON Cupertino, Cali., age 29

GUNNER’S MATE 2ND CLASS

DANNY P. DIETZ Littleton, Colo., age 25

SEALs

aboard the Helicopter

CHIEF FIRE CONTROLMAN

JACQUES J. FONTAN New Orleans, La., age 36

SENIOR CHIEF INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNICIAN

DANIEL R. HEALY Exeter, N.H., age 36

LT. CMDR. ERIK S. KRISTENSEN San Diego, Cali, age 36 ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN 1ST CLASS

JEFFERY A. LUCAS Corbett, Ore., age 33

LT. MICHAEL M. McGREEVY JR. Portville, N.Y., age 30 MACHINIST MATE 2ND CLASS

ERIC S. PATTON

Boulder City, Nev., age 22 QUARTERMASTER 2ND CLASS

JAMES SUH

Deerfield Beach, Fla., age 28 HOSPITAL CORPSMAN 1ST CLASS

Army Night Stalkers

aboard the Helicopter

STAFF SGT.

SHAMUS O. GOARE

Danville, Ohio, age 29 CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER

COREY J. GOODNATURE Clarks Grove, Minn., age 35

SGT. KIP A. JACOBY Pompano Beach, Fla., age 21 SGT. 1ST CLASS

MARCUS V. MURALLES Shelbyville, Ind., age 33

MASTER SGT. JAMES W. PONDER III Franklin, Tenn., age 36

MAJ. STEPHEN C. REICH Washington Depot, Conn., age 34 SGT. 1ST CLASS

MICHAEL L. RUSSELL Stafford, Va., age 31 CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER

CHRIS J. SCHERKENBACH Jacksonville, Fla., age 40

JEFFREY S. TAYLOR Midway, Va., age 30

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 27


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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Original sketch by Peter K. Hsu Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 29


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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Honor

Medal of Honor Citation

The president of the United States in the name of the Congress takes pride in presenting the medal of honor posthumously to Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, United States Navy for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. - George W. Bush Left: Then-Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, presents the IROGHG0HGDORI+RQRUĂ DJWR'DQLHODQG0DXUHHQ0XUSK\/W0LFKDHO Murphyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents, during a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial. Top: The Murphys admire theirâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son photo at the Pentagonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hall of Heroes. Bottom: Daniel Murphy talks with former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor of Operation Red Wings, at the Pentagon. Photos: U.S. Navy

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 31


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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Letter from

James D. White $IBJSNBO 644.JDIBFM.VSQIZ%%($PNNJTTJPOJOH$PNNJUUFF

33

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 33


34

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Letter from THE HONORABLE

Bob Kerrey )POPSBSZ$P$IBJSNBO 644.JDIBFM.VSQIZ%%($PNNJTTJPOJOH$PNNJUUFF

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 35


Letter from

Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire )POPSBSZ$P$IBJSNBO 644.JDIBFM.VSQIZ%%($PNNJTTJPOJOH$PNNJUUFF

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 37


Letter from

Anthony Michael Fabbo Jr. 'JOBODF$IBJS 644.JDIBFM.VSQIZ%%($PNNJTTJPOJOH$PNNJUUFF

39

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 39


Letter from

Walter A. Poggi $SFX&WFOUT$IBJS 644.JDIBFM.VSQIZ%%($PNNJTTJPOJOH$PNNJUUFF

41

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 41


IRIDIUM


Letter from THE HONORABLE

Leon E. Panetta 4FDSFUBSZPG%FGFOTF

43

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 43


Letter from THE HONORABLE

Donald Rumsfeld 'PSNFS4FDSFUBSZPG%FGFOTF

45

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 45


Letter from THE HONORABLE

Ray Mabus 4FDSFUBSZPGUIF/BWZ

47

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 47


Letter from

General Martin E.Dempsey $IBJSNBOPGUIF+PJOU$IJFGTPG4UBGG

49

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 49


Letter from

Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr. 7JDF$IBJSNBOPGUIF+PJOU$IJFGTPG4UBGG

51

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 51


Letter from

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert $IJFGPG/BWBM0QFSBUJPOT

53

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 53


Letter from

Admiral William H. McRaven $PNNBOEFS 644QFDJBM0QFSBUJPOT$PNNBOE

55

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 55


Letter from

Rear Admiral G. J. Bonelli %FQVUZ$PNNBOEFS /BWBM4QFDJBM8BSGBSF$PNNBOE

57

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 57


Letter from .BTUFS$IJFG1FUUZ0GmDFSPGUIF/BWZ

R.D. West

59

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 59


Letter from

Jeffrey S. Geiger 1SFTJEFOU #BUI*SPO8PSLT

61

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 61


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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

Photo: U.S. Navy


Shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leadership

Thomas E. Shultz Commander

USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

C

Shultz

mdr. Thomas E. Shultz, a native of El Cajon, Calif., was commissioned in July 1994 after completing the Naval ROTC program at the University of California Los Angeles. Following commissioning, he completed the Surface Warfare Officers School Division Officer Course in Newport, R.I. He was then assigned to the USS Monsoon (PC 4) as the weapons, deck and supply officer. His second division officer tour was aboard the USS Sides (FFG 14) as the main propulsion assistant and auxiliaries officer. He then attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering. Upon completion of the Surface Warfare Officers School Department Head Course, Shultz was assigned as chief engineer on the USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) from June 2002 until June 2005. During his tour Mobile Bay made two Arabian Gulf deployments. From July 2002 until April 2003, Mobile Bay deployed with the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group, participating in Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Mobile Bay next deployed with Expeditionary Strike Group Three from June 2004 until December 2004 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following completion of his department head tour, Shultz was assigned as flag lieutenant for the commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He then commanded USS Patriot (MCM 7), homeported in Sasebo, Japan, from January 2007 until August 2008. While Shultz was in command, Patriot earned consecutive Battle E and Retention Excellence Awards. He reported as chief staff officer of COMDESRON 7 in September 2008 and made two deployments with the Ronald Reagan Strike Group in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 63


Shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leadership

Corey J. Turner Executive Officer

USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

A

Turner

fter graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1995 with a degree in chemistry, Cmdr. Corey Turner served a split tour as damage control assistant and assistant operations officer for the maiden deployment of the USS Milius (DDG69). Following Department Head School, Turner was assigned to the USS McCampbell (DDG-85) precommissioning crew as operations officer through building, manning, initial sea qualifications and deployment workups. He then became operations / plans officer aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN74) in support of Operation Northern Edge and several multinational exercises. Additional assignments include a lead strategic planner for the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command; and deputy director for plans for the Combined Maritime Forces at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. Turner earned his masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College, where he became part of the Naval Operational Planner Course and earned joint operational planner designation. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars and Navy Achievement Medal, with one gold star.

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 65


Ship’s Leadership

Matthew E. Danforth Comand Master Chief

USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

C

Danforth

ommand Master Chief Matthew E. Danforth, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., joined the Navy in 1991 while attending Perry Traditional Academy. He attended recruit training and GSE “A” School in Great Lakes, Ill., before shipping out to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily. His other assignments include the USS Lake Erie (CG-70); Pearl Harbor Naval Brig at Ford Island, Hawaii, and the USS O’Kane (DDG-77); and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. Danforth is a graduate of the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 134 Blue) in Newport, R.I. and holds an associate degree from Chaminade University. After graduation from the Command Master Chief/ Chief of the Boat Course (Class 61) in Newport, Danforth reported as the senior enlisted leader on the USS Crommelin (FFG 37). He was selected for master chief following two 7th Fleet deployments. He reported in November 2010 as command master chief of the USS Michael Murphy DDG 112. Danforth has received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), Enlisted Surface Warfare Insignia, and numerous campaign awards.

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 67


USS MICHAEL MURPHY DDG 112

ShipyardSea from the

to the

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

by Tom Breen


Construction

What would become the USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 took shape piece by piece at Bath Iron Works’ massive shipbuilding facility in Bath, Maine. Photo: Mass Comm. Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien

O

ver at Bath Iron Works (BIW), on the banks of the Kennebec River in Maine, about 5,800 workers continue to do what the company has done since 1884: build ships, including many of the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke DDG 51 Class guided-missile destroyers. Season after season, the work at BIW (now part of General Dynamics) proceeds on schedule, with nascent destroyers taking shape daily. Says the company’s aptly named president, Dugan Shipway, “... We have come to know every stiffener, penetration, cableway, piece of equipment and compartment of these ships.” Beyond the cableways and compartments of the Arleigh Burkes, the BIW family also has come to know the emotional stories behind the naming of each of the ships, of the inspirational forces that send a vessel to sea, of ships such as the USS Michael P. Murphy, which has become an enduring symbol of the Navy’s sacrifice in the war in Afghanistan. Still officially known as DDG 112 at BIW’s 70-acre plant, the ship would not assume its formal name until its christening in 2010, followed by its commissioning May 7, 2011. Even so, most people already were calling it the Murphy in honor of a courageous young SEAL who died during a search for a high-ranking Taliban insurgent. If only Murphy could have been up in Maine to see his ship move toward the high seas, inch by inch. It was during the early summer of 2005 that Murphy, a 29-year-old lieutenant leading a four-man SEAL team in search of the Taliban operative, died in the Hindu Kush mountain range near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. Standing in the open for better radio reception, struck by enemy fire while seeking help, the Long Island native died attempting to defend his men. Murphy, two other team members on the ground and 16 SEAL and Army Night Stalkers aboard a rescue helicopter shot down by insurgents died in Operation Red Wings. Only one team member on the ground survived after finding refuge with friendly villagers. Murphy received the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award for valor in combat, the others received bravery citations of one form or another, and Hollywood was crafting a movie about the men of Red Wings. The Maine location for the construction of the USS Michael Murphy is especially appropriate because New England is the region that inspired the poet Robert Frost to write of the choices facing everyone, of “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both” in his famous poem, “The Road Not Taken.” Murphy, like other members of the voluntary force, had plenty of choices before selecting the military. After graduating with degrees in psychology and political science from Pennsylvania State University, Murphy joined the SEALs. In the end, the roads he chose led to the mountains of Afghanistan, to the hallowed ground where he rests at the Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island, and to the 124-year-old Bath Iron Works in Maine, where his destroyer would make its eventual trip along the Kennebec River to the Gulf of Maine in the Atlantic Ocean, and to points beyond.

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 69


Construction

Construction of the 9,200-ton DDG 112 began in September ZLWKWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWFXWRIVWHHO

Photo: Mass Comm. Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien

T

he idea to name the $1.2 billion ship on behalf of Murphy came from Navy brass, congressional supporters, the public, and Operation Red Wings families. His mother, Maureen, is the shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sponsor. Navy destroyers often are named after heroes, statesmen and legendary officers. Some other Arleigh Burkes include the USS John Paul Jones, USS John S. McCain, USS Roosevelt, USS Winston Churchill and USS Halsey. The Murphy is the 62nd Arleigh Burke class ship built by the Navy, with 34 constructed at Bath and the others at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. Named in honor of the serviceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fabled World War II officer, the 510-foot Arleigh Burkes, with their Aegis combat systems and phased-array radar, simultaneously can confront submarines, warships and aircraft when called upon. Bath built the first of the Arleigh Burkes, which the Navy commissioned in 1991. The ship has a maximum beam of 66.5 feet, a crew size of 323 including 23 officers, and can exceed speeds of 30 knots. Once the Murphy leaves for the sea, the Arleigh Burke line itself is expected to continue for several 70

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

more years, with as many as nine new ships expected to be built. The Navyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is to reach a total force of 313 ships, including the Arleigh Burkes, in the next few years, a number that â&#x20AC;&#x153;represents the acceptable risk in meeting the security demands of the 21st century,â&#x20AC;? says Navy spokesman Lt. Clay Doss. During the May 7, 2008, ceremony on Long Island announcing the shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, then-Navy Secretary Donald P. Winter said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Michael Murphyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, which will be forever synonymous with astonishing courage under fire, will now be associated with one of the U.S. Navyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most technologically advanced, most powerful and most capable warships.â&#x20AC;? The ceremony unfolded not far from a granite memorial bearing the names of the men of Red Wings, erected by the townspeople of Patchogue, where Murphy grew up. As a boy, Murphy often â&#x20AC;&#x153;protectedâ&#x20AC;? other children from bullies, says his mother, Maureen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[He said] Mom, you always think there is always good in everybody, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true, but there are some people that make other peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives miserable, and they need to be dealt with.â&#x20AC;? As a Navy officer, he took on the role of protector on his last day of life in the Hindu Kush.


Photo: U.S. Navy

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 71


Hull modules for the DDG 112 were fabricated upside-down, then right-sided and joined to form the hull seen here at the keel-authentication ceremony. Photo: Mass Comm. Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien

Before the ship named in honor of the young SEAL heads to sea, probably sometime this year, it faces “rigorous” daily construction work, says BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini. The work is being carried out by the 5,800-person work force at BIW’s main shipyard in Bath, and at satellite plants in Brunswick about 8 miles to the west. DeMartini says the building of the 9,200-ton ship began in September 2007 “when the first plate was cut at the company’s steel fabrication plant” at a satellite facility. Construction of the ship’s structure, and the “outfit and installation of combat systems and electronic components” continued over the next 18 months, largely within the company’s 15,600-square-meter

assembly and pre-outfit building, and then inside its 4,200-square-meter Pre-Outfit II building. “Within these buildings, and the company’s newly inaugurated 6,200-square-meter Ultra Hall, ship structure and outfit will come together to form individual ship modules, some weighing well over 1,500 tons,” he said early in the ship-building process. Modules are transported onto the company’s Land Level Transfer Facility before launching into the Kennebec River, where English settlers built the first seagoing ship launched on the continent more than 400 years ago. Once the destroyer is in the water, “final installation of remaining components and integration, test and evaluation of all ship systems will

From left to right, Scott Kay, DDG 112 project manager for BIW; Capt. Michael Clarke, Bath Fire Department; Dan Murphy, Michael Murphy’s father; and David Peabody, Publisher of DEFENSE STANDARD, the day of the keel ceremony. Photo: Courtesy General Dynamics Marine Systems, Bath Iron Works

Navy destroyers often are named after heroes, statesmen and legendary officers such as Winston Churchill and Paul Jones.

72

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Construction “Michael Murphy’s name, which will be forever synonymous with astonishing courage under fire, will now be associated with one of the U.S. Navy’s most technologically advanced... warships.” occur in preparation for sea trials and final acceptance of the ship by the Navy in 2011,” DeMartini says. Elsewhere, Lockheed Martin builds Aegis, and most of the radar systems come from Raytheon; these systems are constructed at locations around the country. In the end, what makes the Arleigh Burke class a trailblazing ship for the Navy, as the Michael Murphy grows stronger and more powerful by the day, was the initial decision in the 1980s to build the class entirely of steel rather than constructing a steel hull and aluminum superstructure, as with previous ships.

A

s construction work continued on the Murphy, one clear irony emerged, that the new destroyer’s sophisticated, lethal weapons system is a universe removed from the basic guns and grenades carried by Murphy and his three SEAL team members on that day in Afghanistan. Without the benefit of supermodern technology, Murphy and his men held off an estimated 50 insurgents the old-fashioned way, with guts and glory. Murphy, ever the wise guy, might even launch a joke or two about the lethality of his namesake ship’s Aegis missiles compared with what he had on the ground that day in Afghanistan. He soon would turn serious, however, his mother has said, humbled and

even embarrassed at the mere thought a U.S. Navy ship would take to the high seas carrying his name, the name of a Long Island kid who traveled so far from home, to such a strange, dangerous place, to the mountains of Afghanistan. As it navigates its way after its launch, the destroyer bears a plaque carrying Murphy’s name, his mother’s name because she is the sponsor, and a tribute to all the men of Red Wings. To be sure, one cannot think about him without thinking of the other men on the ground, and of the MH-47 helicopter sweeping in for a rescue attempt before it crashed in flames after being struck by insurgent gunfire. In the end, a ship, any Navy man or woman will tell you, is far more than a structure made of steel and weapon systems, and far more than the living crew that inhabits it at a particular time in history. It also is about the spirits that float above the seas, under the stars, in choppy waters, and calm ones. It is about people like Mike Murphy and the men of Red Wings, and so many more. So, up in Maine and down in New York Harbor, the men of Red Wings stand guard, overseeing the building of their ship and its commissioning, waiting for their journey down Robert Frost’s metaphorical road, waiting to ride the high seas forever aboard the USS Michael Murphy.

Photo: Mass Comm. Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 73


MAY 7, 2011

Christening of

Maureen Murphy, right, lays a coin and other mementos on a SEAL 'HOLYHU\7HDPÁDJWKDWZDVWKHQ welded into the ship’s mast. Photo: U.S. Navy

74

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


DDG 112 Christening Opposite page, top: A large audience gathers at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine for the christening of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer named after Lt. Michael Murphy. Left: Maureen Murphy, mother of Lt. Michael Murphy (SEAL) and ship’s sponsor, breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow of the USS Michael Murphy DDG 112. %RWWRPOHIW&HOHEUDWRU\VWUHDPHUVÀOOWKH sky after the USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 is christened. Bottom right: Posing under the ship’s bow are Adm. Gary Roughead, left, then the Chief of Naval Operations, and Adm. Eric Olson, then-commander of U.S. Special Operations Photos: U.S. Navy

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 75


76

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


Original artwork by Peter K. Hsu Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 77


DONORS TO THE USS MICHAEL MURPHY

FLEET ADMIRAL Curtiss Wright Military Order of the Purple Heart

LePco, Inc. Stonite Coil Corporation VFW Post 6249

VICE ADMIRAL BAE Systems Lockheed MS2 Mission Solutions LLC Northrup Grumman Information Systems

WARDROOM 365th Engineer Battalion Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck and Company PC ATI Metals Bradford Ferguson Cartier, Bernstein, Auerbach &Dazzo, P.C. Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith, Tartaglia LLP Marshall M. Stern Michael Trofinoff Nicholas Campasano Pat Quagliariello Richard and Ellen Wilson Sector Microwave Industries

REAR ADMIRAL Florence and Robert A Rosen Family Foundation GE Aviation General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Raytheon Retlif Testing Labs Ronkonkoma Rotary CAPTAIN Bec Tek Kato Engineering Lend Lease Northrup Grumman Corp Sperry Marine Northrup Grumman Electronic Systems Rolls Royce Telephonics COMMANDER American Legion Post 651 Brunswick Hospital Eugene Gaughan Gary Vertichio

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112

CREW Teresa Abramowski Mady A. Adler Noel Adler Sal & Debbie Aguire Mary Ahern Robert & Stephanie Amsler Joseph F. Aurelio Paul Barahal Brian Barrett Richard Bartel Don Beynon Michael Boehm John Boklak, P.C. Mr.&Mrs. Richard Bookamer

Mary J. Borgs Aton J. Borovina Col. Richard L. Boyle, USA Ret Nancy Brady John Braslow Richard Bronstein Mary L. Brosdal Joseph Brown Maria Buda John Buonora L. M. Byrnes Kathleen Call Joseph P. Callaghan Gail Carson Patrick Christopher Frank Ciarcia Elizabeth Copertino Arleane J. Crewdson Steven Crowley Amber Cuttone John Degirolamo Thomas Delaney Ken DeMulder Marc Diana John Dineen Robert Dinerstein A.S. Doctorow Robert Donahue Daniel Donato Donald & Mary Dwyer Edna Eiber Edward Ellis Tracey Epstein Stephen Ernst Anthony Fabbo Anthony M. Fabbo


Sponsors

DDG 112 COMMISSIONING COMMITTEE

CREW David A. & Gail P. Farrell Frank Favilla Susan A. Flynn Kevin Fox, LLC Robert T. Fuchs Cora Gamelin-Osenbach Amy Boyle Geisel, Counsel to Pinks, Arbeit & Nemeth Ed Genco Mr.&Mrs. M. Giacomaro Tom Gillin Richard and Donna Goff Glen B. Gruder Dawn Hargraves Doreen Hau Jean Hazelton Howard Hechman Robert Hindman Gail Hoefener Joseph P. Houlihan Patricia Hutchison Bonnie Johnson Gary S. Josephs Linda Josephs Daniel J. Keane Robert Kelly Scott Koen Dan Komarony Marc S. Kreig Eileen M. Kremers Stephen Kunken Michael S. Langella, P.C. Donald Leatherman Agness A. Lebel Mark Letsch

William J. Lilly Christopher Litrel James Lombardi Richard Lowe Karen Mack Jennifer M. Maloney Richard & Joan Martin Michael L. McCarthy Michael McClernon Victoria & James McDonaugh Rita McKenna Robert H. McKenna Tina Mercia Tina Mercier Christopher Modelewski, P.C. Carol L. Moore Arthur Morr Janet Marie Motsiff Daniel J. Murphy K & Josephine Murphy Maureen T. Murphy Joseph Nemeth Richard T. Nolan CW03 Kevin O’Malley, USMC Clifton K. O’Malley Cody P. O’Malley Louise O’Malley Janice V. Orshan Nicolette Pach Regina Murphy Pheifer Jeffrey Pliskin Emil J. Polak William T. Porter Mr.&Mrs. Vincent Raab Ed Reale

John J. Reynolds R.G. Richards Robert A. Robesch Benjamin D. Russo Eric Sachs Harry F. Schaufele Kathleen Schmidt Charles M. Schnepp, Jr. Sherwood Brothers American Legion Post 1152 William Shirreffs Harry Seidell James R. Seymour, M.D. Phil Siegel Heather L. Somerstein Frederick P. Stern, P.C. Harry Stuckey Donald Sullivan Jonathon Summer Erin Taca Peter D. Tamsen, P.C. Linda M. Toga Nicholas Telesca LCDR Raphael Tomich Kenneth Torres Wesley & Darlene Tysz John Vahey Alfred Volkmann Charles Volpe Charles Waldman, Jr. Barry Warren James & Genevieve White Kimberley Wolfert Thomas & Susan Zawyrucha John B. Zollo, P.C.

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 79


Sponsors

SALUTING OUR Friends

& Supporters

Adventure Lights

Military Order of the Purple Heart

AR Modular

Mission CE

ArmorSource

Northrup Grumman

Avion Solutions, Inc

Panasonic

Beth Page Federal Credit Union

Pepsi Cola Bottling of NY

Carabba's Italian Grill

Pepsico

Curtiss Wright

Phoenix International

GEICO

Precision Reflex Inc

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

Procter and Gamble

Goggle Grip

Retlif Testing

HDS Systems

Setai on Fifth Avenue

Iridium

Swett & Crawford

Juggernaut Defense

Tactical Tailor

L3

TEA Headsets

Long Island Forum for Technology

Telephonics

Limestone College

Z Medica

Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 81


Prints of artist Gerald Slater’s portrait of Lt. Michael P. Murphy are om display at facilities around the country named in Murphy’s honor. www.slaterart.com

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Commissioning | USS Michael Murphy DDG 112


USS Michael Murphy DDG 112 Commissioning Publication  

The Commissioning of the USS Michael Murphy Commissioning, October 6, 2012

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