U.S.S. Jack H. Lucas officially commissioned into service in Port Tampa Bay
The USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) was officially commissioned into active service for the United States Navy during a ceremony attended by thousands at the Port of Tampa on Saturday.
“Commissioning the Jack H. Lucas means we continue to deliver fast, agile, and networked surface combatants to the Navy. The Jack H. Lucas is built to fight. It is a fast, maneuverable, versatile, and lethal ship – capable of tackling any mission it is given,” the Honorable Erik Raven, under-secretary of the Navy, said at the ship’s commissioning in Tampa, Florida.
“It will keep the Navy and Marine Corps adaptive and ready, and also uphold our commitment to maintaining the free flow of commerce, deterring military aggression, and facilitating quick responses to natural disasters across the globe,” Raven said.
The ship is the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced guided missile destroyer.
The 511-foot ship is named after Private First Class Jack H. Lucas, who served in the U.S. Marines during World War II, earning the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Iwo Jima.
“He enlisted in the Marine Corp at only the age of 14 and by the time he was 17, he was at Iwo Jima and dove on two Grenades and pulled them under himself to save the lives of the Koreans right by him,” Lt. Dan McCormack said to FOX 13.
In a press release, the Department of Defense said that Lucas was the youngest Marine and youngest serviceman in World War II to be awarded the United States’ highest military decoration for valor.
The ship’s next stop will be the naval base in San Diego, California where it will enter a training cycle before getting assigned for deployment.