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Ship named in honor of Airman, Sandpoint, Idaho native

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Torri Ingalsbe
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus conducted the official naming ceremony of Motor Vessel Capt. David I. Lyon Jan. 14, at the Pentagon.

Capt. David Lyon, a logistics officer from Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, was killed in action in Afghanistan Dec. 27, 2013. Air Force and Navy officials honored Lyon by naming the newest pre-positioning vessel after him.

Lyon was a native of Sandpoint, Idaho, which is about 75 miles north of Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Airmen from Fairchild hosted his parents, Jeannie and Bob Lyon, along with family friends and former coaches, to view the Pentagon ceremony via video teleconference from the base.

"To honor Dave's legacy, and to honor his calling as an Air Force logistician, I can think of no more fitting tribute than to name this motor vessel the (Capt.) David I. Lyon," James said.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus explained the tradition of naming a ship and the significance of it, as the vessel binds the country to the military and acts as a living representative of American values.

"One of the main conventions that has existed throughout history is naming ships for heroes," Mabus said. "For decades to come, the name and the story - the legacy of David Lyon will be told all over the world."

He further explained each ship in the Navy has a sponsor, which is usually a woman, whose spirit is instilled in that ship. The sponsor for the Capt. David I. Lyon is his wife, Capt. Dana Lyon.

"As a logistics officer, he never quite got the chance to serve as a supply officer, and now he has a supply ship," Lyon said. "Dave was a workhorse - this is a work ship. He continues to take the fight to the enemy. It gives me strength every day knowing that he is continuing to serve and protect and take care of us. We can rest at night because Dave's still protecting us."

The ship's mission began last fall in South Korea, where it is currently anchored until Jan. 17. From there, the ship will sail for Japan and other Far East ports of call for Air Force ammunition retrograde operations, James said.

"The 'Capt. Lyon' and her crew will no doubt face daunting challenges of their own," she said. "But they'll face these challenges together, inspired by the life and memory of their ship's namesake."

(Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Kilmer, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs, contributed to this article.)