From a City of Mill Creek news release.
The City of Mill Creek officially adopted the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), the newly commissioned Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer stationed at Naval Station Everett.
The Mill Creek City Council voted unanimously to adopt the ship at their March 5, 2019, meeting.
USS Ralph Johnson crew members, led by Commander Casey Mahon, presented the city council with an Honorary Plank Owner plaque at the March 12th city council meeting. This is a special gift given to all first crew members of a new vessel. The City of Mill Creek is the only civic body to have received an honorary plank from the USS Ralph Johnson.
The U.S. Navy provides an adopt-a-ship program to enhance public outreach and improve relations. The purpose of adopting a ship is to build better ties between the troops assigned to the ship, its home port base and the local community.
Mayor Pam Pruitt, on behalf of the City Council, made a proclamation for the occasion, adopting “the USS Ralph Johnson and its crew as official members of the Mill Creek community” and asking “all residents of Mill Creek to extend the hand of Friendship and Home to the crew of the USS Ralph Johnson.”
As community members, the crew is invited to all city and community events. Further, the city will coordinate with local families before major holidays to host the crew for meals and provide a home away from home. Additional information about how residents can host crew members will be forthcoming.
The ship is named after Medal of Honor recipient Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson.
Pfc. Johnson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War; he used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.
The USS Ralph Johnson is the 65th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be commissioned, and the third and last of the DDG 51 Flight IIA restart ships to be commissioned.
The ship is equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense 5.0 and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air.
Aegis Baseline 9 IAMD destroyers have increased computing power, along with radar upgrades which improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern anti-air warfare and BMD threats.
The USS Ralph Johnson at sea. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.