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USS HIGGINS (DDG-76)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NMEG

CLASS - BURKE Flight II As Built.
Displacement 8373 Tons (Full), Dimensions, 504' 7" (oa) x 66' 11" x 20' (Max)
Armament 1 x 5"/54 RF, 2 Phalanx 20mm Guns, 90 VLS Cells,
8 Harpoon Missiles, 6 x 12.75" TT.
Machinery, 100,000 SHP; 4 GE LM-2500 Gas Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 30+ Knots, Range 4400 NM@ 20 Knots, Crew 370.
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath ME on November 14 1996.
Launched October 4 1997.
Commissioned April 24 1999.
Active unit of the US Navy.
Homeported at San Diego, CA.

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Higgins
[1]







Higgins
[2]
[1] 24k










[2] 62k
William Richard "Rich" Higgins was born in Kentucky on January 15, 1945. He graduated from Southern High School in Louisville and earned his bacelor's degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. A scholarship student in the Navy ROTC, he received the Marine Corps Association Award and was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967. He later obtained master's degrees from Pepperdine University and Auburn University. Rich graduated from the Army Infantry Officers Advanced Course, the Air Force Command and Staff College and the National War College. As a lieutenant, Rich participated in combat operations during 1968 in Vietnam as a rifle platoon commander and rifle company executive officer. A decisive and respected officer, Rich was distinguished as a leader who never asked his troops for more than he himself would give. After serving as the Officer-in-Charge of the Officer Selection Team in Louisville, Kentucky, Captain Higgins returned to Vietnam as an infantry battalion advisor to the Vietnamese Marine Corps, and later as a rifle company commander. After returning from Vietnam, Rich served at the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy and Officers Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia. Rich returned to Washington in 1980, where he served at Marine Headquarters as a Plans Officer until his selection to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. After graduation from the National War College in 1985, he again returned to the Pentagon, serving as the Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense until he was transferred to a United Nations assignment in July 1987. In Naqoura, South Lebanon, LtCol Higgins began serving what was to be a twelve-month tour as Chief Observer Group Lebanon with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, peacekeeping force consisting of military officers from 17 nations. As a combat veteran, Rich welcomed the opportunity to serve with troops again, believing that one person could truly make a significant difference in the peace process. It was an extremely dangerous assignment for an American officer. The militant terrorist group Hezbollah routinely patrolled the area and tensions were high. A fellow officer in the Canadian Army approached LtCol Higgins shortly after his arrival. He was concerned for Rich's safety and had made some adhesive patches of the Canadian flag. If Rich found himself in danger, he could quickly place one over the American flag on his uniform, perhaps giving him extra time to escape. He did not waiver, LtCol Higgins explained that he was a United States Marine and if captured or killed, it would be under the American flag. On February 17, 1988, LtCol Higgins was abducted by Hezbollah. He was Promoted to colonel on March 1, 1989, but never knew it. The exact date of his death is uncertain; however, he was declared dead on July 6, 1990. His remains were eventually recovered and interred at Quantico National Cemetery on December 30, 1991. The tireless commitment Col Higgins had to duty and country is best conveyed by the small plaque that he kept on his desk. It reads: War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.[1] Steven A. Cardali







[2] Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 49kArtist's conception of the Higgins as built by the renowned graphic illustrator John Barrett with the text written by naval author and historian Robert F. Sumrall. Their company Navy Yard Associates offers prints of most destroyers, destroyer escorts, submarines and aircraft carriers in various configurations during the ship's lifetime. The prints can be customized with ship's patches, your photograph, your bio, etc. If you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource.Navy Yard Associates
Higgins 65kUSS Higgins Welcome Aboard phamphlet.Jack Treutle
Higgins 89kAs above.Jack Treutle
Higgins 112kAs above.Jack Treutle
Higgins 122kAs above.Jack Treutle
Higgins 70kAs above.Jack Treutle
Higgins 101kAs above.Jack Treutle
Higgins 55kUSS Higgins Construction prior to Launching, Winter 1997, Bath ,MaineClint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 51kUSS Higgins Construction prior to Launching, Winter 1997, Bath ,MaineClint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 18kUSS Higgins Launching and Christening 17 Oct 1997, Bath, Maine.Clint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 27kAs above.Clint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 21kAs above.Clint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 100kThe Launching Program for USS Higgins DDG-76, held at Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, ME on 4 October 1997.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 104kOn sea trials.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 238kUSS Higgins (DDG-76) underway on November 18 1998, probably during builder's sea trials. Photograph by Bath Iron Works. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 106857-KN.Robert Hurst
Higgins 93kUSS Higgins in New York Harbor, 2 Apr 1999 enroute Earle, New Jersey.Clint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 106kAs above.Clint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 133kUSS Higgins Commissioning, 24 Apr 1999, Port Everglades, Florida.Clint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 120kCommissioning Program for USS Higgins (DDG-76) held at Port Everglades, Florida, 24 April 1999.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 80kSan Diego 1999Graeme D Fuller
Higgins 81kSydney, Australia November 2000.Marc Piché
Higgins 36kSydney, Australia November 2000.Marc Piché
Higgins 36kSydney, Australia November 2000.Marc Piché
Higgins 55kLongview, WA June 11 2001.Marc Piché
Higgins 93kThe Pacific Ocean, June 16, 2001. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) maneuvers at high speed during routine operations off the coast of San Diego, California. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Frederick McCahan. [010614-N-8894M-001]Fabio Peña
Higgins 90kSan Diego, CA July 27 2001.Marc Piché
Higgins 149k020828-N-4151K-002. At sea aboard USS Higgins (DDG 76), August 28 2002, Torpedoman Seaman Norall Jackson from Pontiac, Mich., performs maintenance on a Honeywell MK46 mod 5 torpedo launcher. The MK46 is an anti-submarine active/passive homing torpedo with a range of more than five miles and carries a hundred-pound warhead at speeds up to 40 knots. Higgins is a guided missile destroyer designed to hunt and destroy a variety of targets using different types of weapons. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Lance Kirk.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 108k020828-N-4151K-012. At sea aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), August 28 2002, Mess Management Specialist 2nd Class Kevin M. Lebahn from Spokane, Wash., polishes the ship’s bell on the weather decks aboard the guided missile destroyer. Considered a symbol of pride and tradition aboard all ships of the fleet, bells have a centuries-long tradition of varied use in the navies and merchant fleets of the world. They have been used for signaling, keeping time, and providing alarm. Their functional and ceremonial uses have made them a symbol of considerable significance to the United States Navy, and remain the property of the U.S. Government and Navy following a ship’s decommissioning. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Lance Kirk.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 165k020828-N-4151K-001. At sea aboard USS Higgins (DDG 76) Aug. 28, 2002 Seaman Toby Townsend from Carrollton, Mo., splices individual strands of line together at the end of a nylon rope. Sailors still practice the ancient art of splicing and rope handling. In the background is the Navy Jack displayed as instructed by Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England. Since 1977 only the oldest active navy ship in commission could fly the "Don't Tread on Me" flag. Before then, it was flown by the Continental Navy as a signal to engage the enemy during the Revolutionary War. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Lance Kirk.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 63kAt sea aboard USS Higgins DDG-76 October 18, 2002. a standard missile two (SM-2) Block IVA is fired from the guided missile destroyer during a live missile fire exercise. Higgins is part of the USS Constellation (CV-64) Battle Group. which is conducting operations in support of a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) prior to her scheduled six-month deployment. Live fire exercises give the crew the experience of launching operational weapons and honeing their war-fighting skills. US Navy photo by Photographers mate Airman Apprentice Rebeeca J. Moat.Steven A. Cardali
Higgins 56k021102-N-5067K-003 San Diego, Calif., Nov. 2, 2002 with her crew "manning the rails", the guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) pulls away from her berth at Naval Station San Diego to join the USS Constellation (CV 64) Battle Group for a regularly scheduled six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Michael D. Kennedy.Fred Weiss
Higgins 62k021102-N-5067K-001. San Diego, California November 2 2002, a Sailor from Naval Station San Diego prepares to release the forward mooring lines on the guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) as the ship prepares to get underway for a regularly scheduled six-month deployment with the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV 64) Battle Group, to conduct missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Michael D. Kennedy.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 75kSingapore Nov. 30, 2002, the guided missile destroyers USS Milius (DDG 69) (left) and USS Higgins (DDG 76) sit moored along the pier inport Singapore. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Casullo.Fred Weiss
Higgins 51kAt sea aboard USS Constellation (CV 64) Dec. 12, 2002, Operation’s Specialist Seaman Michael Martin stands the low visibility watch as USS Higgins (DDG 76) pulls along side the aircraft carrier for a refueling at sea (RAS). U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Charles E. Alvarado. Fred Weiss
Higgins 128k030302-N-6077T-001. At sea aboard USS Higgins (DDG 76), March 2 2003, bridge team members man the helm while conducting general quarters (GQ) drills aboard the guided missile destroyer. Higgins is on a regularly scheduled six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Kevin H. Tierney.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 96kUSS Higgins Missile shoot, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 21 Mar 2003, Photo by YNC (SW) Roebuck.Clint Ellis, GSM1 (SW) USN
Higgins 99kThe Honorable Mari Alkatiri, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, receives ceremonial honors as he boards the destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), which arrived off the coast of Dili, Timor-Leste, for a March 2004 port visit. The visit is part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to this newly established democratic country. The USS Higgins had recently completed operations in the Arabian Gulf as part of a multinational force supporting Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Photo by CTO Mark Jackson, USN.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 66k030424-N-0021M-002. Singapore, April 24 2003, (Right to left), Cmdr. Mike Gilday, Commanding Officer (CO) of the guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), is relieved by Cmdr. Randy Hill Commanding Officer of the guided missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) marking the first ever crew swap of an Arleigh Burke class destroyer. This is the second phase of the Navy's Sea Swap initiative, which involves rotating three crews through a single ship to allow for more time on station in theater, while returning crews home at six-month intervals. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Todd Macdonald.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 105k050506-N-2636M-044. San Diego CA, May 6 2005, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), departs its homeport of San Diego to begin a scheduled six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. Higgins is deploying with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Kleynia R. McKnight.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 60k060930-N-7676W-046, San Diego, September 30 2006, the guided missile destroyer's USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) make their way around Coronado Island as part of the San Diego Fleet Week Sea and Air Parade. Fleet Week's mission is to pay tribute and thank San Diego’s military service men and women for "Serving America Twice" in the defense of our nation and as volunteers in improving the quality of our communities. U.S. Navy photo by Mr. John F. Williams.Tony Cowart
Higgins 123k070430-N-5484G-148. South China Sea, April 30 2007, Commander Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 Rear Adm. Terry Blake, talks to Sailors during an Admiral's Call aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76). Higgins is deployed with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is deployed in support of operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph Pol Sebastian Gocong.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 109k070530-N-5169H-060. U.S. Navy Sailors with the visit, board, search and seizure team from the Navy destroyer USS Higgins (DDG-76) prepare to secure the USNS Catawba's bridge and engineering spaces as part of a boarding exercise while under way in the Arabian Sea May 30, 2007. The Higgins is deployed overseas for a 6-month deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcos T. Hernandez.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 141k070927-N-3349L-076. Pacific Ocean, September 27 2007, the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), and guided-missile destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), and USS Pickney (DDG 91), set up in formation during a sea power demonstration for Sailors and their family members aboard nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz Strike Group and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 are returning to their homeport of San Diego after a six-month deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel P. Lapierre.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 121kPacific Ocean, March 12 2008, the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) sails alongside the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a replenishment-at-sea. Higgins is deployed with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew J. Lanese, ID# 080312-N-6642L-022.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 155k080520-N-3038W-328. Pacific Ocean, May 20 2008, the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) steams into position for a replenishment at sea with the Military Sealift Command combat stores ship USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS 3). Higgins is deployed with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, operating as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet in the western Pacific and Indian oceans. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman John Wagner.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 141k080815-N-6933L-002. U.S. Navy Vice Admiral D. C. Curtis, left, commander, Naval Surface Forces, and fellow members of U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1976 visited the destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) to present the 2008 Officer Leadership Award to Lt. James A. Murdock, Chief Engineer onboard the ship. Higgins is currently dry-docked in BAE Shipyard undergoing routine repairs and upgrades Aug. 15, 2008. U.S. Navy photo by Yeoman 2nd Class George Layana.Bill Gonyo
Higgins 149kA series of three images of Bay And Delta tugs push the USS HIGGINS (DDG-76) to her berth at pier 15, San Francisco, on December 10, 2008.Capt. Jack C. Goldthorpe, USCG (ret.)
Higgins 139kAs above.Capt. Jack C. Goldthorpe, USCG (ret.)
Higgins 153kAs above.Capt. Jack C. Goldthorpe, USCG (ret.)
Higgins 180k091130-N-0780F-004. Souda Bay, Greece, November 30 2009, Cmdr. Carl W. Meuser, center, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), directs mooring operations from the port bridge wing during arrival for a routine port visit to Crete. Higgins is on a scheduled six-month deployment in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 200k100115-N-5049H-118. Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 15 2010, the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) is underway off the coast of Haiti. Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing 17 are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage near Port-au-Prince on Jan 12, 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephen G. Hale II.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 171k100115-N-6247V-596. Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 15 2010, the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), foreground, and Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrive off the coast of Haiti. The U.S. Navy is providing food, supplies, humanitarian aid and emergency assistance following a 7.0 earthquake disaster of Jan. 12. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Candice Villarreal.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 130k100122-N-5345W-135. Baie Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 22 2010, the guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) transits off the Haiti coast while participating in Operation Unified Response, providing military support capabilities to civil authorities to help stabilize and improve the situation in Haiti in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the area Jan. 12. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is seen in the background. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 125kFive views of the USS Higgins (DDG-76), first USN ship to respond to the earthquake in Haiti, returning from deployment, transiting San Diego Bay and passing under the San Diego Bay (Coronado) Bridge, inbound to the Naval Base, February 3 2010.© CAPT Robert Lang USN (Ret.)
Higgins 121kAs above.© CAPT Robert Lang USN (Ret.)
Higgins 90kAs above.© CAPT Robert Lang USN (Ret.)
Higgins 160kAs above.© CAPT Robert Lang USN (Ret.)
Higgins 157kAs above.© CAPT Robert Lang USN (Ret.)
Higgins 125k100203-N-7029R-042. San Diego, February 3 2010, Cmdr. Carl Meuser, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76), speaks to the media upon returning to Naval Base San Diego after a six-month independent deployment. Higgins was diverted to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for Operation Unified Response in the wake of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexia Riveracorrea.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 128kNaval Station San Diego, December 2010.BMCS Richard Miller USNR (Ret.)
Higgins 60k110312-N-SZ785-001. Arabian Sea, March 12 2011, a silhouette of the Mark 45 5-inch .54-caliber lightweight gun on the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) while underway during a lighting storm. Higgins is currently on a seven-month deployment supporting maritime ballistic missile defense in the 5th Fleet's area of responsibility. US Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Alex Mabini.Robert M. Cieri
Higgins 242kMidshipman Second Class Alasdair Waterhouse of the University of Utah on his Midshipman Summer Cruise shooting one of our .50 cal guns.LCDR Alex Mabini, Executive Officer, USS Higgins (DDG-76)
Higgins 117kAt night while patrolling the Arabian Gulf.LCDR Alex Mabini, Executive Officer, USS Higgins (DDG-76)
Higgins 150kUSS Higgins (DDG-76) is underway conducting an independent deployer certification exercise off the coast of Southern California on April 30 2015. US Navy photo.Tommy Trampp
Higgins 591k170802-N-FA490-027 Pacific Ocean, Aug. 2, 2017. The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) transits the Pacific Ocean. Higgins is part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, which is underway conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for an upcoming deployment. COMPTUEX tests a carrier strike group's mission-readiness and ability to perform as an integrated unit through simulated real-world scenarios. (U.S. Navy photo by Machinist Mate 3rd Class Andrew Langholf/Released)Dave Wright
Higgins 13kShips patch.Steven A. Cardali

USS HIGGINS DDG-76 History
Note: History is unavailable at this time
This ship was built too late to be covered by the DANFS project

Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves


CDR James Lee T. (Red) Smith    Apr 24 1999 - Jun 2 2000

CDR William Richard Ault    Jun 2 2000 - Feb 15 2002

CDR Michael Martin Gilday    Feb 15 2002 - Apr 24 2003 (Later RADM)

CDR Charles Randy Hill    Apr 24 2003 - Oct 10 2003 (Sea swap with DDG-53)

CDR Roy Ian Kitchener    Oct 10 2003 - Nov 12 2004 (Later RADM)

CDR Jesse Alphonzo Wilson Jr.    Nov 12 2004 - Nov 9 2006 (Later RADM)

CDR Jeffrey Peter Menne    Nov 9 2006 - May 8 2007

CAPT Roy Ian Kitchener    May 8 2007 - May 15 2007 (Acting) (Later RADM)

CDR Fred Winton Smith Jr.    May 15 2007 - Dec 12 2008

CDR Carl W. Meuser    Dec 12 2008 - Jun 11 2010

CDR Rome Ruiz    Jun 11 2010 - Dec 2 2011

CDR Andrew Forrest Carlson    Dec 2 2011 - May 28 2013

CDR Nicole Lisa Maver-Shue    May 28 2013 - Oct 3 2014

CDR Allan Paul Johnson    Oct 3 2014 - May 6 2016

CDR Marc R. Deltete    May 6 2016 - present



 


Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
USS Higgins DDG-76 Website
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 06 August 2017