PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula is starting fabrication work on its newest Aegis guided missile destroyer.

The Mississippi Press reports Paul Ignatius, the ship's namesake, and his wife, Nancy Ignatius, the ship's sponsor, visited the shipyard Tuesday to see steel cut for the destroyer.

Paul Ignatius (DDG117) is the 31st Aegis destroyer to be built at Ingalls.

Paul Ignatius served as U.S. Secretary of the Navy from 1967-69 and was assistant secretary of defense during President Lyndon Johnson's administration.

Ingalls is currently building two other destroyers in addition to Paul Ignatius. John Finn (DDG 113) is scheduled to be delivered in 2016 with Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) to follow in 2017.