USS Higgins

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USS Higgins DDG-76.jpg
USS Higgins in the Pacific Ocean
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
Badge: USS Higgins DDG-76 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and 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; 35 mph)
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 United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (flight II). She is named for USMC Colonel William R. Higgins, who was captured, tortured and murdered in 1988, during a UN peacekeeping mission to Lebanon. In 1992 he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, and two years later it was announced that a ship would be named in his honor. Higgins, is the 26th ship of her class, the 15th of the class to be built by Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine. Construction began on 14 November 1996 and she was launched and christened on 4 October 1997, she was commissioned at a ceremony in Port Everglades, Florida on 24 April 1999.

Service history[edit]

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

On 14 April 2018, she fired 23 Tomahawk missiles from a position in the north Persian Gulf as part of a bombing campaign in retaliation for the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons against people in Douma.[2]

On 27 May 2018, she, alongside the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam patrolled the 12-nautical-mile (22 km; 14 mi) zone surrounding the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, which Vietnam has claimed as its territory, in an act to ensure freedom of navigation. Some[who?] say the patrol was in response to the deployment of H6-K bombers by the People's Liberation Army Air Force. That act was considered by the Pentagon to be an act of aggression, leading to rising tensions in the area.[3]

Coat of arms[edit]

USS Higgins DDG-76 Crest.png


The shield has background of blue with a "V" cutting through the center; the griffin is shown in the "V" wielding an axe and a trident.

The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue, white and gold respectively represent the sea, integrity and excellence; the griffin, holding an axe and a trident, denotes valor and intelligence. The axe indicates her ability and readiness for engaging land based hostilities, while the trident symbolizes her modern weapon systems, giving her air combat and undersea engagement versatility; the "V" of the shield represents victory and the cloverleaf is for good fortune.


The crest consists of an anchor with swords crossing in the middle, both surrounded by wreaths.

The anchor is representative of the U.S. Navy. Two wreaths, one behind and one surrounding the anchor, symbolize the military and civilian honors awarded to Colonel Higgins for some unusual achievements. Crossed swords, a Naval officer's sword and a Marine Corps Mameluke, represent the long-standing tradition of Navy and Marine Corps cooperation in times of peace and war.


The motto is written on a scroll of gold that has a blue reverse side.

The ships motto is "First to Fight"; the motto is a reference to the honorable feats of Colonel Higgins.


The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS Higgins" at the top and "DDG 76" in the base all gold.


  1. ^ "First U.S. vessel arrives at Port-au-Prince". MSNBC. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  2. ^ Mehta, Aaron; Copp, Tara (14 April 2018). "Coalition launched 105 weapons against Syria, with none intercepted, DoD says". Military Times. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  3. ^ "China protests 'provocation' after US sends two warships near South China Sea islands". South China Morning Post. 28 May 2018.

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]