USS Benfold firing a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile shortly before the Koa Kai exercise in 2012.
|Namesake:||Edward Clyde Benfold|
|Ordered:||16 January 1991|
|Laid down:||27 September 1993|
|Launched:||9 November 1994|
|Commissioned:||30 March 1996|
|Homeport:||Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan|
|Motto:||"Onward with valor!"|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Arleigh Burke-class destroyer|
|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)|
|Aircraft carried:||None embarked|
|Aviation facilities:||Flight deck accommodates all U.S. military helicopters except CH-53 Sea Stallion|
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, 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.
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 5 September 1952 while assigned to the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.
Built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Benfold is the 15th of 76 planned Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. She joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet for service on 30 March 1996.
A U.S. 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 MH-60R/S Seahawk Helicopters and is capable of refueling and re-arming these helicopters, but she does not have a hangar for storing and maintaining helicopters.
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. 
In 2012, USS Benfold was the first San Diego-based naval 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.
In 2013, USS Benfold underwent extensive combat systems upgrades to include the installation of AEGIS Baseline 9C, Ballistic Missile Defense version 5.0, A(V) 15 SONAR Suite, and also became Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) capable.
- 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 1 Mar 2005
- 13 Sep 2006 13 Mar 2007
- 4 May 2008 3 Nov 2008
- 8 Sep 2009 16 Mar 2010
- 15 June 2012 11 Jan 2013 Persian Gulf
- 2 Oct 2015 - TBD, U.S. 7th Fleet, Yokosuka, Japan
The commanding officer (C.O.) of USS Benfold is a commissioned officer of the United States Navy who is the most senior officer on board the ship. The C.O. is the ultimate authority over operations of Benfold and her crew. The current C.O. is Justin L. Harts, who replaced Michele M. Day in November 2015.
List of commanding officers
|#||Portrait||Name||Start of tenure||End of tenure|
|15||CDR Justin L. Harts||30 November 2015|
|14||CDR Michele M. Day||14 March 2014||30 November 2015|
|13||CDR Richard E. LeBron||1 October 2012||14 March 2014|
|12||CDR David Oden||6 May 2011||14 March 2012|
|11||CDR Kevin M. Brand||6 November 2009||6 May 2011|
|10||CDR Thomas C. Disy||6 November 2009|
|9||CDR William A. Hesser, Jr.|
|8||CDR Mark W. Harris||6 July 2005|
|7||CDR Donald G. Hornbeck||29 August 2003||6 July 2005|
|6||CDR Michael M. Gilday||24 April 2003||29 August 2003|
|5||CDR Charles R. Hill||15 March 2002||24 April 2003|
|4||CDR Adam S. Levitt||21 August 2001||15 March 2002|
|3||CDR Thomas H. Copeman||21 Jan 2000||21 August 2001|
|2||CDR D. Michael Abrashoff||20 June 1997||21 January 2000|
|1||CDR Mark E. Ferguson III||30 March 1996||20 June 1997|
Awards and decorations
- 2003–2004 – USS Arizona Memorial Trophy Award, for "superior performance in combat readiness and battle efficiency."
- 1998 – Spokane Trophy
- Navy Unit Commendation for 01-Oct-1997 to 30-Apr-1998
- Meritorious Unit Commendation as a part of the Constellation Battle Group for 01-Jan-1999 to 10-Sep-2001
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, for four separate time periods between October 1997 and August 2001
- Humanitarian Service Medal for Operation Unified Assistance from 28-Dec-2004 to 12-Feb-2005
USS Benfold has been awarded the Navy Battle "E" several times
- Calendar Year 1997
- CY2003, listed as "BENFOLD DDG 76" on awards site, year of Benfold DDG-65 / Higgins DDG-76 "Sea Swap"
- "Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense". Missile Defense Agency. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- DoD news release on 28 March 1996 for the commissioning of the USS Benfold 
- NAVSEA (4 May 2011). "First Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers Successfully Complete Comprehensive Modernization Program".
- Cobb, ENS Daniel; Martin, ENS James (16 April 2012). "USS Benfold Completes Koa Kai 2012".
- "USS BENFOLD DDG 65". uscarriers.net.
- Johnson, Greg (2 December 2015). "USS Benfold Changes Command". America's Navy. United States Department of the Navy. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- "Benfold". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command.
- "USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL TROPHY". NAVADMINS/NAV2005/NAV05211. 29 August 2005.
- Velazquez, MC2 Elena (4 March 2008). "COMNAVSURFOR Announces Winners of Battle "E"".
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