USS Benfold

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USS Benfold (DDG-65)
USS BENFOLD fire Tomohawk - March 2012.jpg
USS Benfold firing a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile shortly before the Koa Kai exercise in 2012.
United States of America
Name: Benfold
Namesake: Edward Clyde Benfold
Ordered: 16 January 1991
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
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, as of 2015
Badge: USS Benfold DDG-65 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • 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)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: None embarked
Aviation facilities: Flight deck accommodates all U.S. 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 5 September 1952 while assigned to the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Former Benfold 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]


USS Benfold firing an SM-3 missile.

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 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 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.

USS Benfold‍ '​s Change of Command at Sea in 2012

Modernization 2011[edit]

USS Benfold‍ '​s bow in 2012.

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[edit]

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.[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 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

Commanding officers[edit]

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 Michele M. Day.

List of commanding officers[edit]

# Portrait Name Start of tenure End of tenure
14 CDR Michele Day, USN (X.O.).jpg CDR Michele M. Day[5] 14 March 2014
13 CDR Richard E. LeBron[5] 1 October 2012 14 March 2014
12 CDR David Oden[5] 14 March 2012
11 CDR Kevin M. Brand[5]
10 CDR Thomas C. Disy[5]
9 CDR William A. Hesser, Jr.[5]
8 CDR Mark W. Harris[5] 6 July 2005
7 CDR Donald G. Hornbeck[5][6] 29 August 2003 6 July 2005
6 CDR Michael M. Gilday[5][6] 24 April 2003 29 August 2003
5 CDR Charles R. Hill[5][6] 15 March 2002 24 April 2003
4 CDR Adam S. Levitt[5][6] 21 August 2001 15 March 2002
3 CDR Thomas H. Copeman[5][6] 21 Jan 2000 21 August 2001
2 CDR D. Michael Abrashoff[5][6] 20 June 1997 21 Jan 2000
1 CDR Mark E. Ferguson III[5][6] 30 March 1996 20 June 1997

Awards and decorations[edit]

  • 2003–2004 – USS Arizona Memorial Trophy Award, for "superior performance in combat readiness and battle efficiency."[7]

USS Benfold has been awarded the Navy Battle "E" several times

  • Calendar Year 1997[8][6]
  • CY1999[8][6]
  • CY2001[8]
  • CY2003, listed as "BENFOLD DDG 76" on awards site, year of Benfold DDG-65 / Higgins DDG-76 "Sea Swap"[8]
  • CY2004[8]
  • CY2005[8]
  • CY2007[8][9]
  • CY2009[8]


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 28 March 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 c d e f g h i j k l m n "USS BENFOLD DDG 65". 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Benfold". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. 
  7. ^ "USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL TROPHY". NAVADMINS/NAV2005/NAV05211. 29 August 2005. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "UNIT AWARDS FOR BENFOLD DDG 65". Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Velazquez, MC2 Elena (4 March 2008). "COMNAVSURFOR Announces Winners of Battle "E"". 

External links[edit]