USS Higgins

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USS Higgins in the Pacific Ocean.
USS Higgins (DDG-76)
United States
Name: USS Higgins
Namesake: William R. Higgins
Ordered: 19 January 1993
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 14 November 1996
Launched: 4 October 1997
Acquired: 14 January 1999
Commissioned: 24 April 1999
Homeport: Naval Base San Diego
Motto: First to Fight
Status: in active service, as of 2015
Badge: USS Higgins DDG-76 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Arleigh Burke class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,664 tons
  • Full: approx. 8,756 tons
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
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: 1 SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked, no hangar

USS Higgins (DDG-76) is a Flight I Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She was commissioned in 1999 and named after William R. Higgins (1945–1990), a United States Marine Corps Colonel who was captured and held hostage in February 1988 by a pro-Iranian group allied with Hezbollah while serving on a United Nations peacekeeping mission (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, UNTSO) in Lebanon. He was killed in captivity by July 1990.

President George Bush awarded Colonel Higgins the Presidential Citizen’s Award two years after the colonel died. Then, another two years later (17 February 1994), the president named the ship (that was about to be built) after Colonel Higgins.

2010 Haiti earthquake relief[edit]

The ship performed logistical support for United States Coast Guard helicopters undergoing relief operations for the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[1]


The ship's crest and shield were designed to honor the memory of Colonel William "Rich" Higgins, USMC and to signify the power of the warship that bears his name.

  • Dark blue and gold are traditional colors of the Navy, symbolizing the sea and excellence.
  • The griffin, denoting valor and intelligence, holds an axe that indicates HIGGINS’ readiness and ability to engage in land-based hostilities.
  • The griffin and the trident symbolize ’ modern weapon systems HIGGINS possesses, which gives her the versatility of air combat and undersea engagements.
  • The shield’s “V” signifies victory and recalls the Combat “V” earned by Colonel Higgins.
  • White denotes integrity; gold symbolizes excellence.
  • The cloverleaf on the shield stands for good fortune.
  • The crest’s anchor represents the Navy.
  • Two wreaths symbolize the many military and civilian honors awarded Col. Higgins and signify unusual achievement.
  • The Naval Officer’s sword and the Marine Corps Officer’s Mameluke emphasize the long-standing tradition of cooperation between the Navy and Marine Corps in both peacetime and war, and recall Col. Higgins’ outstanding service to his country as a Marine.


Weapons include one 50 cal. (caliber) lightweight gun, a light machine gun, 2 CIWS guns, Highly Explosive Electronically Timed (or HE-ET) and Kinetic Energy Electronically Timed (or KE-ET) 5” (5 inch) projectiles, one 25MM remote controlled machine gun, eight harpoon missiles, two torpedo launchers (total six tubes), Tactical Tomahawk missiles (also known as TACTOM missiles), and 110 missile launchers in all; 42 missile launchers in the front of the ship, 68 launchers in the back. Some of these weapons are controlled by monitors in the Combat Information Center (CIC) in the bridge. The 50 cal. and light machine gun are mounted on the left and right of the ship. The Harpoon missiles cross each other's like an “X”; four missiles point left, another four point right. The CIWS (Close In Weapon System) is an anti-missile weapon that can shoot 60 rounds per second, but is short-ranged.


  1. ^ "First U.S. vessel arrives at Port-au-Prince". MSNBC. 13 Jan 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.

External links[edit]