USS Benfold

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Port bow view of USS Benfold (DDG-65) underway in South Pacific 010326-N-1644C-001.jpg
USS Benfold on 26 March 2001
United States
NamesakeEdward Clyde Benfold
Ordered16 January 1991
BuilderIngalls Shipbuilding
Laid down27 September 1993
Launched9 November 1994
Commissioned30 March 1996
MottoOnward with valor!
Honors and
See Awards
Statusin active service
BadgeUSS Benfold DDG-65 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
  • Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
Length505 ft (154 m)
Beam59 ft (18 m)
Draft31 ft (9.4 m)
Installed power3 × Rolls Royce AG9130F (Allison 501-K34) (2.5 MW Each)
Propulsion2 × Shafts
Speed>30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems
Electronic warfare
& decoys
Aircraft carriedNone embarked
Aviation facilitiesFlight 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.

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 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System and during the 2010 Stellar Daggers exercise was the first ship to simultaneously engage a ballistic missile and a cruise missile.[1]

Former Benfold commanding officers include ADM Mark Ferguson, ADM Michael Gilday, VADM Thomas H. Copeman III, and author D. Michael Abrashoff.[2]

Service history[edit]

USS Benfold firing an SM-3 missile.

Built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Benfold is the 15th of 76 planned Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. Named for posthumous Korean War United States Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward Clyde Benfold, she joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet for service on 30 March 1996.[3]

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.

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.[4]

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.[5]

Modernization 2013[edit]

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

On 19 November 2017 Benfold was involved in a minor collision with a Japanese commercial tug off Sagami Bay. The tug lost power and drifted into the Benfold, causing damage described as minimal, with some scraping to the ship's side. No one was injured on either vessel; the Benfold continued at sea, while the tug was towed to Yokosuka.[6]


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


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. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Captain D. Michael Abrashoff: It's Our Ship". Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  3. ^ DoD news release on 28 March 1996 for the commissioning of the USS Benfold [1]
  4. ^ NAVSEA (4 May 2011). "First Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers Successfully Complete Comprehensive Modernization Program". Archived from the original on 29 October 2011.
  5. ^ Cobb, ENS Daniel; Martin, ENS James (16 April 2012). "USS Benfold Completes Koa Kai 2012".
  6. ^ "US warship and Japanese tug collide in latest incident". BBC News. 19 November 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  7. ^ "USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL TROPHY". NAVADMINS/NAV2005/NAV05211. 29 August 2005. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  8. ^ Abrashoff, D. Micheal. It's your Ship: It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, 10th Anniversary Edition. Grand Central Publishing, 2012.
  9. ^ NACE International. Accessed 30 May 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "UNIT AWARDS FOR BENFOLD DDG 65". Archived from the original on 15 May 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Benfold". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command.
  12. ^ Velazquez, MC2 Elena (4 March 2008). "COMNAVSURFOR Announces Winners of Battle "E"".
  13. ^ "Surface Force Commander Encourages Continued Excellence to USS Benfold Crew". USS Benfold. Retrieved 15 October 2020.

External links[edit]