March 4 (UPI) -- Construction of the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. began this week at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, the Navy announced.
Named in honor of Marine Corps General Louis Hugh Wilson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for leadership during the Battle of Guam in 1944, the ship will serve in global maritime security -- engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense as well as anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare.
The Flight III destroyers are designed for improved anti-air warfare capability and enhanced ballistic missile defense.
"This is a tremendous occasion as we mark the start of construction on BIW's first Flight III Arleigh Burke class destroyer," said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "General Wilson embodied the spirit of our nation in his will to protect his fellow Marines and countrymen. What better way to honor him than to build a highly capable warship that advances our Navy's ability to protect and defend our Nation."