Former senator helps kick of assembly of ship bearing name

BATH, Maine (AP) — Retired U.S. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan is getting a firsthand look at construction of a warship that’ll one day bear his name.

The former Armed Services Committee chairman says he can think of no greater honor than being a Navy ship’s namesake.

He was joined by his three daughters, the ship’s sponsors, on Friday at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Also attending were Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and all four members of Maine’s congressional delegation.

The keel-laying ceremony harkens back to the days of sailing vessels when construction began with a keel.

Friday’s ceremony took place in front of a 4,000-ton hull segment. The 9,500-ton destroyers in the Arleigh Burke class can easily top 30 knots while simultaneously waging war with enemy ships, submarines, missiles and aircraft.