BATH, Maine – A 2015 Coshocton High School graduate is serving as part of the Pre-Commissioning Unit for the future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Logan Walters, a Coshocton native, is a seaman assigned to DDG 116 in Bath, Maine.
As a seaman, Walters is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the ship, including line handling and refueling. He is also responsible for taking care of the outside of the ship as well as assisting with flight deck operations.
"I enjoy being on the ship," said Walters. "I love the environment and appreciate the team I work with."
DDG 116 is currently undergoing tests and trials in preparation for delivery to the U.S. Navy from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works.
Arleigh Burke class destroyers measure approximately 500 feet long and are powered by four gas turbines that allow the ship to achieve over 30 mph in open seas.
Destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and ballistic missile defense, as well as humanitarian assistance.
Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions.
"Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a naval aviator who retired as a captain, received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for displaying uncommon valor during an attack on his element leader, the first African American naval aviator to fly in combat, Ensign Jesse L. Brown," said Cmdr. Nathan W. Scherry, commanding officer, PCU Thomas Hudner.
"On May 7, 2012, Secretary Mabus announced that DDG 116 will be named in Captain Hudner's honor. Today, as the Navy's finest 300 Sailors crew the 66th Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, they do so with a tremendous amount of honor, pride, and sense of duty. We are extremely honored to be able to carry Captain Hudner's values and legacy forward so that they are never forgotten. We are proud to be able to carry out our missions in defense of our country's freedom and values, and humbled to be part of the Hudner family."
Walters has carried lessons learned from his hometown into his military service.
"Growing up in a small town I learned from my parents and the people in my life the importance of hard work, dedication and accountability," said Walters. "I apply this same mindset every day as I work with other sailors."
With a crew of over 300 sailors, each crew member’s job is important to the smooth operation of the ship. The jobs range from weapon handling to navigation.
Walters has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
"My grandfather is a retired chief culinary specialist," said Walters. "I spent many hours with him while he was alive talking about honor, courage and commitment. He was a big influence in my life. I made a promise to him that I would carry on the family legacy and join the Navy. It is the best decision I've ever made."
Walters’s proudest accomplishment is getting promoted during boot camp.
"It showed me that there is nothing I can't do and that if I put my mind to something, I can always be successful," added Walters.
Close living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest ships, Walters and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
"Serving in the Navy means the world to me, not only because I'm following in my grandfather's footsteps, but also because I can say that I'm part of the best fleet in the world," said Walters. "I'm proud to tell others that I serve in the U.S. Navy and that I'm a Sailor on the Thomas Hudner. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to know that I'm part of something bigger than myself."
The construction of the ship is over 98 percent complete. The ship is scheduled for commissioning in late 2018 in Boston, Mass.
For more information about the commissioning, visit http://www.usshudnerddg116.org.