DDG 120 Carl M. Levin
During a ceremony April 11, 2016 in Detroit, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the next Arleigh Burke class destroyer, DDG 120, will be named Carl M. Levin in honor of the longest serving senator in Michigan history. Levin's wife Barbara is the sponsor of the littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7), which is expected to be commissioned in the summer of 2016 along the Detroit River.
In a letter sent April 28, 2016 to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Tom Graves (R-GA-14) asked the U.S. Navy to reconsider naming a ship USS Carl M. Levin and instead name the vessel USS Chattanooga. “I am writing today to express concern with recent U.S. Navy ship naming decisions and to again respectfully request that you give all due consideration to honoring the five service members killed in the terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 16, 2015 by naming an appropriate naval vessel the USS Chattanooga… There is clearly ample justification for honoring these five service members. That is why I was surprised and disappointed when it came to my attention that the decision has been made to name DDG-120 after retired Senator Carl Levin,” wrote Rep. Graves.
On March 18, 2016, Rep. Graves, joined by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03), sent a letter to Secretary Mabus asking the Navy to consider naming an appropriate vessel USS Chattanooga. One of the victims of the Chattanooga terror attack, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, lived in Rossville, Georgia, which is part of the 14th District. Another victim, Marine Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, was from Marietta, Georgia.
"On July 16, 2015, a lone terrorist attacked both a United States Military Recruiting Station and a Navy and Marine Corps Operational Support Center, ultimately claiming the lives of Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells, and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith. The five service members were awarded the Purple Heart on December 16, 2015 because the attacker was found to be inspired by propaganda from a foreign terrorist organization. In the wake of this tragedy, it is appropriate for the U.S. Navy to honor the legacy of those who lost their lives. There is clearly ample justification for honoring these five service members. That is why I was surprised and disappointed when it came to my attention that the decision has been made to name DDG-120 after retired Senator Carl Levin. According to the Navy’s policies for naming ships, destroyers are to be named for deceased members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The DDG-120 decision does not conform to naming conventions. Mr. Levin never served in any branch of the U.S. military. As you recently stated, “Destroyers are named for heroes.” There is no shortage of heroes who have served in the U.S. military and deserve to be honored.
"In addition, it is worth noting that Mr. Levin is now employed as a Senior Counsel for a law firm in Michigan, which includes an extensive government relations practice. The firm’s website states that his role is to “assist publicly and privately held companies in identifying and addressing legal, business and reputational risks that may bring them under public or government scrutiny and result in legal action or loss of business.” While having a U.S. Navy ship named after him may assist Mr. Levin in his current professional endeavors, this decision is clearly not in line with the proud heritage of the U.S. Navy. I respectfully request that you reconsider the naming of DDG-120 and instead honor those who have fallen in service to our great nation, such as the five service members who lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee."
During his 36 years in the Senate, Levin was a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services and its chair for more than nine years. He also served as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, as a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He led the Senate in adoption of the Defense Authorization Acts from 2007 through January 2015 when he retired.
Carl Levin, (brother of Sander Martin Levin), a Senator from Michigan; born in Detroit, Wayne County, Mich., June 28, 1934; attended Detroit public schools; graduated, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa., 1956; graduated, Harvard Law School 1959; admitted to the Michigan bar in 1959 and commenced practice in Detroit; assistant attorney general and general counsel for the Michigan civil rights commission 1964-1967; special assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan and chief appellate defender for the city of Detroit 1968-1969; member, Detroit city council 1969-1973; president, Detroit city council 1974-1977; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1978; reelected in 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002, and again in 2008, and served from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 2015; chair, Committee on Armed Services (One Hundred Seventh Congress [January 3-20, 2001; June 6, 2001-January 3, 2003]; One Hundred Tenth to One Hundred Thirteenth Congresses); was not a candidate for reelection in 2014.
Levin is Senior Counsel at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP and Chair of the Levin Center at Wayne State University Law School and the law school’s distinguished legislator in residence. "It is a great honor to name this ship in recognition of such a dedicated public servant," said Mabus. "I have no doubt that all who serve aboard her will carry on the legacy of service and commitment exemplified by Carl Levin during his storied career." Levin said “My family and I are deeply moved by this singular honor and to be so wonderfully connected to the men and women of our great Navy”.
Arleigh Burke class destroyers conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection. DDG 120 will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare including Integrated Air and Missile Defense and Vertical Launch capabilities.
The ship will be constructed at Bath Iron Works in Maine and expected to enter the Navy fleet in 2020. The ship will be 509 feet long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.
tml versions of documents as we crawl the web. Page 1 14TH District, GEORGIA (Congregg of the Qiniten states 39quge of $epresentatipeg April 27, 2016 The Honorable Ray Mabus Secretary of the Navy Office of the Secretary of the Navy 1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 4D652 Washington, DC 20350 Dear Secretary Mabus: I am writing today to express concern with recent U.S. Navy ship naming decisions and to again respectfully request that you give all due consideration to honoring the five service members killed in the terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 16, 2015 by naming an appropriate naval vessel the USS Chattanooga. As I previously wrote,
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