By Jite Eriabie
The U.S. Navy is planning to haul the damaged guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain to its ship repair facility in Yokosuka, Japan where damage assessments will continue to take place.
The Navy said Tuesday it intends to issue a task order on an existing contract, for the salvage patching and transport via heavy lift of USS John S McCain (DDG 56) from Changi Naval Base in Singapore to the U.S. Navy’s Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan. The Navy did not specify which existing contract it was referring to.
The lift is notionally planned for late September.
The Navy said it is moving John S. McCain to Yokosuka to allow the crew to be close to their families and to allow for a complete assessment of the damage. Completion of the damage assessment is needed before the Navy can fully determine repair plans for the destroyer, including cost, schedule, and location for the repairs.
The guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant tanker Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on August 21. The ship suffered significant damage to her port side aft, which resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Ten sailors were killed in the accident.
Following the collision, the John S. McCain was able to reach the Changi Naval Base in Singapore under its own power.
The USS John S. McCain is attached to Destroyer Squadron 15 and is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. Her homeport is at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. McCain was commissioned in 1994 following construction at Bath Iron Works in Maine.
In August, the U.S. Navy awarded a $3.1 million contract for heavy lift of the damaged USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) from its current location in Yokosuka to Pascagoula, Mississippi, where the ship will be repaired by Huntington Ingalls Industries. The USS Fitzgerald was also constructed at Bath Iron Works.
Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with the containership ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on June 17, 2017. Seven sailors were killed in that accident.
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