USS John S. McCain Departs, USS Fitzgerald Returns
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) departed Subic Bay, Philippines, on board heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure en route to Fleet Activities Yokosuka on November 28.
USS John S. McCain was diverted to Subic Bay on October 22 due to poor weather conditions and to repair cracks in the ship's hull discovered after the ship departed Singapore aboard the MV Treasure. While at anchor in Subic Bay, technicians inspected the cracks and determined the ship needed additional blocks under it to support and distribute its weight on the heavy lift vessel.
Upon arrival in Yokusuka, USS John S. McCain will be repaired at Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) before returning to service in U.S. Seventh Fleet. "SRF is making preparations to begin remediation and repair efforts immediately once the ship is dockside," said Lt. Cmdr. Sandra Wyman assigned to SRF-JRMC. "The project will be one of the largest SRF has undertaken."
USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on August 21. Ten Sailors were killed. Following the collision, the ship moored at Singapore's Changi Naval Base. In the weeks prior to departure from Singapore on October 5, crew members, technicians and divers prepared the ship for the journey by patching damaged sections of the hull and placing key systems in layup maintenance.
USS Fitzgerald has Returned
Meanwhile, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returned to Yokosuka on November 26, on board heavy lift transport vessel Transshelf.
USS Fitzgerald was towed to deep water to begin the heavy lift process on November 24. USS Fitzgerald returned to repair two punctures in her hull caused by the heavy lift vessel's steel support structure during on load at anchorage. Repairs are expected to extend the on load process by a few days, after which Transshelf will transport USS Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi, for further repairs and upgrades.
In the months prior to her departure from Yokosuka, technicians and shipbuilders at Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka made significant progress in preparing the ship for the journey, including dewatering, defueling, hull and superstructure repairs, and placing key systems in layup maintenance. In October, she was moved from dry dock to a pierside location in anticipation of the move.
USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal on June 17. Seven Sailors lost their lives and the ship was damaged on her starboard side above and below the waterline.