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Destroyer Rafael Peralta

Veteran News
Veteran News
August 24, 2016
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The long-planned destroyer named for Navy Cross recipient and United States Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta will be commissioned next summer.Peralta died in Fallujah, Iraq, on November 15th, 2004, while clearing buildings in the city. He was shot in the head by a ricocheting bullet fragment and fell to the floor.While laying on the ground, an insurgent tossed a hand grenade near him, which he laid upon. The grenade detonated, and Peralta took the majority of the blast, shielding his fellow Marines.He was considered for the Medal of Honor but was ultimately awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic actions that day.The commissioning will occur sometime next summer in the port of San Diego. An exact date has not yet been set.“Destroyers are named for individuals who have displayed great valor, and though Sergeant Rafael Peralta cannot be here to receive this medal today, the ship that bears his name will continue to honor his memory and his heroism for decades to come…” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in 2015, when Peralta’s family received his Navy Cross.There was some controversy about whether or not Peralta could have consciously thrown himself on the grenade, according to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Despite this, Peralta was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, which his family donated to the ship.


U.S.S Peralta to Join Several Other New Ships, Destroyers

The Navy will commission 11 new ships in 2016, including six new littoral combat ships—the Detroit, Montgomery, Gabrielle Giffords, Little Rock and Omaha. The new, high-tech destroyers U.S.S Zumwalt and Gerald R. Ford will be commissioned next summer, and two new submarines will join the Navy as well.The U.S.S Rafael Peralta will be an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer and will cost nearly $679.6 million. The ship will conduct anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare as well as strike operations. The first Arleigh-Burke class destroyer was commissioned in 1991 and is the longest-running class of U.S. warships.

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