BATH – Bath Iron Works, a unit of General Dynamics, this week celebrated the laying of the keel of the second ship in the Zumwalt class of guided-missile destroyers.

The keel is a 4,400-ton backbone of the ship that provides structural support to the hull.

The ship, the Michael Monsoor, is named for Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was killed in Iraq in 2006. Monsoor posthumously received the Medal of Honor from President George W. Bush in 2008. He also was awarded the Bronze Star and the Silver Star for his service in Iraq.

“This is a special day, as it marks a milestone in the construction of a ship, a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of shipbuilding – an event that’s been done for hundreds of years in this region, and for more than 120 years here at Bath Iron Works,” said Brent West, DDG-1000 program manager for Bath Iron Works. “Over the next two years, we will continue to build the Michael Monsoor with knowledge and expertise honed over the decades.”

Michael Monsoor’s parents, Sally and George Monsoor, attended the ceremony.

The DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer is the U.S. Navy’s next-generation, guided-missil