The U.S. Navy on Saturday commissioned a guided-missile destroyer named for the late Michigan Sen. Carl M. Levin at the Port of Baltimore.
Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro spoke at the ceremony to commission the USS Carl M. Levin, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, according to a Department of Defense news release.
Del Toro stressed the importance of a strong joint force to support the United States’ international partners, saying, “This ship before you and our entire naval fleet supports not just the strike force but our entire nation by guaranteeing our unencumbered access to a free and open maritime commons and serves as the lifeblood of our economy.”
Adm. Michael M. Gilday, chief of Naval Operations, praised Levin, who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee for 10 of his 36 years in the Senate. He retired in 2015 and died in 2021 at age 87.
“Senator Levin lived a life of service with integrity, and his example inspires us as we commission this ship with this crew today,” Gilday said.
In their role as the ship’s sponsors, Levin’s three daughters — Kate Levin Markel, Laura Levin and Erica Levin — took part in the keel-laying, mast-stepping and christening ceremonies, the news release said.
Laura Levin said her father often noted that members of the Armed Services Committee had always managed to come together across party lines to pass the Defense Authorization Act and support those who serve. “So as we gather to send off this great ship, the three of us remember our dad by thanking and congratulating the entire crew of the USS Carl M. Levin who protect us and also unite us,” she said.
Built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, the ship is under the direction of Cmdr. Kelly Craft. It will be based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.