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USS John S. McCain Now in Japan for Repairs Following Deadly August Collision

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is lowered from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure on December 13, 2017. John S. McCain will undergo repairs at Ship Repair Facility – Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo)

USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka Wednesday where repairs will be made to fix the damage caused by the deadly Aug. 21 collision with a merchant ship.

McCain arrived in Tokyo Bay on Dec. 5, aboard the heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure, and for several days crews prepared the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer to be offloaded from the transport ship before it was towed pier side in Yokosuka. Repairs, one of the largest such projects to occur at U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center, are expected to take about a year to complete, according to a statement released by the Navy.

When McCain collided with the tanker Alnic MC outside of Singapore, the merchant ship’s bulbous bow struck the port side of the warship, causing extensive damage and flooding below the waterline, resulting in the death of 10 sailors.

McCain was able to reach the Singapore naval base after the collision, but in order to reach Yokosuka, the Navy determined McCain needed to be transported. McCain left Singapore for Yokosuka on Oct. 5, but was diverted to Subic Bay, Philippines on Oct. 22, due to poor weather conditions and to repair cracks in the ship’s hull discovered after departing Singapore, according to a statement released by the Navy.

Now in Yokosuka, repair work is expected to start soon. The repairs will cost about $223 million and take about a year, according to a Navy cost estimate obtained by USNI News.

Meanwhile, late last month USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) suffered two hull punctures while being loaded onto a special transport vessel hired to bring the guided-missile destroyer to the U.S. from Yokosuka for repairs.

Seven sailors died when Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel in June, off the coast of Japan. The crippled warship had been in Yokosuka since, waiting to be brought back stateside for repairs, according to a statement released by the Navy.

Fitzgerald is slated to be repaired at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. Huntington Ingalls was awarded in August a $29.4 million contract to perform the initial planning work to repair the warship. The total cost to repair Fitzgerald, according to an early Navy estimate obtained by USNI News, is about $368.7 million.

Both McCain and Fitzgerald were part of Destroyer Squadron 15 and were responsible for escorting forward-deployed carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and providing regional ballistic missile defense for U.S. allies from primarily North Korea.

 

  • jack anderson

    A year? In 1945 anyone want to guess how long NRF Ulithi wold take to return this ship to combat? They wouldn’t even have sent her back to Pearl and she would have been fighting again the next month!

    • Western

      Yes. Well, that was the Greatest Generation.
      It could have made a great demonstration of potential wartime US infrastructure, but too much potential for embarrassment.

    • TommyD

      That’s an apples to oranges comparison there.. While I agree WWII was a all hands on deck time in our history.. The complexities and technologies involved in today’s ships of war render your statement a non starter to a large degree.

      • jack anderson

        true enough, and weapons and sensors are vastly improved, but I do wonder about the transition from steam to gas. Fewer people, faster starting, but more expensive to run and I presume, buy.

        • DaSaint

          Transition happens. No one wants to, nor can go back to sail, or steam. The cost of the operations isn’t the problem. The training and maintenance was/is. Thankfully, it appears that all are serious about identifying the problem(s) and rectifying them accordingly. Time will tell.

          • jack anderson

            well , we widget types didn’t view BTs as the brightest bulbs in the room but in all fairness rebricking or retubing a boiler takes talent And I was always fascinated by how they could localize a problem by listening in a cacophony of sound. As a practical matter a good black gang, with parts, can fix most anything with a steam plant barring reduction gears, I have no idea to what degree that is true today, I got out from a steam navy, only LSTs were internal combustion and Spruance class wasn’t in commission yet

          • DaSaint

            Lots of talent in the old Navy and today’s too. Just has to be harnessed and properly supported.

    • Secundius

      Nowadays a Typical Repair Yard numbers in the Hundreds in Workforce, NOT the Tens of Thousands that Existed in WWII…

      • jack anderson

        yep, bunch of union types working 9to5. best jobs in America are government, next are government contractors.

        • Secundius

          They had “Union Types” in WWII too…

  • proudrino

    What’s the point of bringing up the Fitzgerald’s status? Yes, these are two of several incidents where poor leadership, bad training, and lack of professionalism have cost the taxpayers untold millions. But the Fitzgerald’s status is mere fluff and filler in an article that purports itself to be about the arrival of McCain in Japan.

  • Danny Lewis

    One that “your” ex-president dutifully used illegal drone strikes to take out (kill), the very people he said did not exist, i.e. Muslim Terrorists. You and your progressive liberal buddies need to get a life that requires you to actually work for a living instead of sponging off of the rest of us!

    • Bothsidesnow

      Ignore that idiot Progressive – he’s the kind that lives through his keyboard and dies in his mother’s basement.

  • DaSaint

    I’m still waiting for that picture of both of them side-by-side pierside…

  • Secundius

    Two Rules in Warfare!
    Rule Number One: Innocent people die.
    Rule Number Two: You CAN’T change Rule Number One…