The USS Daniel Inouye set sail down the Kennebec River in Maine from the Bath Iron Works shipyard on Wednesday to begin sea trials, according to the AP. Named for the late Hawaii senator, the ship is set to join the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet once officials declare it ready for service.

Last year the senator’s widow, Irene Inouye, christened the vessel in a ceremony at the Bath Iron Works attended by other Hawaii dignitaries including Sen. Mazie Hirono.

The ship was supposed to be delivered to the Navy a year ago, but the production has hit several setbacks. This year saw a major slowdown in ship production across the board due to the pandemic. Over the summer workers at the Bath Iron Works went on a nine-week strike.

The USS Daniel Inouye docked at the Bath Iron Works in Maine. Courtesy: General Dynamics

The USS Daniel Inouye is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The destroyer class is equipped with an Aegis radar system allowing the vessels to track and engage ballistic missiles.

These destroyers are playing an increasingly prominent role in the U.S. military’s missile defense strategy. An Arleigh Burke conducted a ballistic missile defense exercise at sea between Hawaii and the Marshall Islands last month.

The USS Daniel Inouye’s ship motto — “go for broke” — is borrowed from the 442nd Infantry Regiment, the unit Inouye and many other Hawaii-born Nisei famously served in during World War II. To this day the 442nd is the most highly decorated unit in the history of the U.S. military.

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