USS Benfold (DDG-65)

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USS Benfold (DDG-65)
Benfold fires an SM3
Benfold fires an SM3
Career (US)
Namesake: USN Hospital Corpsman Edward Clyde Benfold
Operator:  United States Navy
Ordered: 16 January 1991
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 27 September 1993
Launched: 9 November 1994
Commissioned: 30 March 1996
Homeport: Naval Base San Diego
Motto: Official: Onward with Valor
Status: In active service, as of 2015
Badge: USS Benfold DDG-65 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
Displacement: Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Installed power: 3 × Rolls Royce AG9130F (Allison 501-K34) (2.5 MW Each)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots
(8,100 km at 37 km/h)
Complement: 33 Officers
38 Chief Petty Officers
210 Enlisted Personnel
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
Armament: 1 × 29 cell, 1 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launching systems with 90 × RIM-156 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-ASROC missiles

2 x Mk 141 Harpoon Missile Launcher SSM
1 × Mark 45 5/54 in (127/54 mm)
2 × 25 mm chain gun
4 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS

2 × Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: None embarked
Aviation facilities: Flight deck accommodates all US Military helicopters except CH-53 Sea Stallion

USS Benfold (DDG-65) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. The destroyer's namesake is Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Clyde Benfold, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic action on September 5, 1952 while assigned to the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Former Commanding Officers include ADM Mark Ferguson, VADM Thomas H. Copeman III, and author Michael Abrashoff.

Benfold is a multi-mission platform capable of AAW (Anti-Aircraft Warfare) with the powerful AEGIS combat systems suite and anti-aircraft missiles, ASW (Anti-submarine warfare), with towed sonar array, anti-submarine rockets, and ASW helicopter, ASUW (Anti-surface warfare) with a Harpoon missile launcher, and strategic land strike using Tomahawk missiles. Benfold was one of the first ships fitted with the new AEGIS Ballistic Missile System and during the 2010 Stellar Daggers exercise was the first ship to simultaneously engage a Ballistic Missile and a cruise missile.[1]


Benfold fires a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile shortly before the Koa Kai exercise

Built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Benfold is the 15th of 35 planned Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. She joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet for service on 30 March 1996.[2]

A US Navy guided-missile destroyer equipped with the AEGIS air-defense system and the Mark-41 Vertical Launch System for multiple types of guided missiles, Benfold is capable of defensive and offensive operations against warplanes, anti-ship missiles, surface ships, submarines, and shore targets. In addition to her missiles, she carries one 5-inch rapid-fire naval gun for action against surface ships and for shore bombardment. She also carries anti-submarine torpedoes, and two Phalanx anti-missile guns. She has a flight deck for LAMPS III Seahawk helicopters and is capable of refueling and re-arming these helicopters, but she does not have a hangar for storing and maintaining helicopters.

Benfold's Change of Command at Sea in 2012
Modernization, 2011

In 2011, Benfold entered drydock at BAE Systems San Diego to receive an extensive $32 million mid-life upgrade. The Hull Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E) upgrades included a fully integrated bridge, improved machinery and damage control, quality of life improvements, an advanced galley, and commercial-off-the-shelf computing equipment. An upgrade to follow in 2013 will include improved combat systems, making Benfold one of the most advanced ships in the Navy.[3]

Naval exercises, 2012

In 2012, Benfold was the first San Diego based ship invited to participate in the Koa Kai naval exercises. Benfold conducted integrated flight operations, anti-surface and anti-submarine training, dynamic ship maneuvers, ballistic missile defense, small boat attacks and Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) utilizing the Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team.[4]


  • 14 Aug 1997 19 Feb 1998 Persian Gulf
  • 18 Jun 1999 17 Dec 1999 Pacific Ocean/Persian Gulf
  • 13 Mar 2001 15 Sep 2001 Persian Gulf
  • 18 Oct 2004 01 Mar 2005
  • 13 Sep 2006 13 Mar 2007
  • 04 May 2008 03 Nov 2008
  • 08 Sep 2009 16 Mar 2010
  • 15 June 2012 11 Jan 2013 Persian Gulf


1998 - Spokane Trophy

The USS Benfold has been awarded the Navy Battle "E" twice

  • 01 Jan-2007 31-Dec-2007 [5]
  • 01-Jan-2009 31-Dec-2009 [5]

Commanding Officers[edit]

The commanding officer (CO) of the USS Benfold (DDG-65) is the United States Navy officer who is the most senior officer on ship. The CO is the ultimate authority over operations of the Benfold and her crew.

List of commanding officers[edit]

# Name Start of tenure End of tenure

14 CDR Michele M. Day[6] 14 March 2014
13 CDR Richard E. LeBron[6] 1 October 2012 14 March 2014
12 CDR David Oden[6] 14 March 2012
11 CDR Kevin M. Brand[6]
10 CDR Thomas C. Disy[6]
9 CDR William A. Hesser, Jr.[6]
8 CDR Mark W. Harris[6] 6 July 2006
7 CDR Donald G. Hornbeck[6] 29 August 2003 6 July 2006
6 CDR Michael M. Gilday[6] 24 April 2003 29 August 2003
5 CDR Charles R. Hill[6] 15 March 2002 24 April 2003
4 CDR Adam S. Levitt[6] 21 August 2001 15 March 2002
3 CDR Thomas H. Copeman[6] 21 Jan 2000 21 August 2001
2 CDR D. Michael Abrashoff[6] 20 June 1997 21 Jan 2000
1 CDR Mark E. Ferguson III[6] 30 March 1996 20 June 1997


This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.

  1. ^ "Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense". Missile Defense Agency. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  2. ^ DoD news release on March 28, 1996 for the commissioning of the USS Benfold [1]
  3. ^ NAVSEA (4 May 2011). "First Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers Successfully Complete Comprehensive Modernization Program". 
  4. ^ Cobb, ENS Daniel; Martin, ENS James (16 April 2012). "USS Benfold Completes Koa Kai 2012". 
  5. ^ a b [2]
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n

External links[edit]