US Navy

USS Fitzgerald Returning to San Diego

The ship was damaged during a collision off the coast of Japan in 2017 that killed seven sailors

U.S. Navy/Derek Fountain/Huntington Ingalls Industries

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald has departed from a shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., to return to its homeport in San Diego as part of the Pacific Fleet, the Navy announced Saturday.

USS Fitzgerald departed the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard after more than two years worth of restorations and modernizations, Navy spokesperson Patrick Evans said.

The ship was damaged during a collision off the coast of Japan in 2017 that killed seven sailors.

Due to the extent and complexity of the restoration, both repair and new construction procedures were used to accomplish the restoration and modernization efforts, the Navy said.

The Fitzgerald crew also completed training and certification events such as Navigation Assessment and Light Off Assessment (LOA).

Before leaving Pascagoula for San Diego, the crew was in a pre-movement sequester in accordance with U.S. Navy pre-deployment guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Navy said.

The ship is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 1 and upon arrival in San Diego, crew training and certifications will commence in support of Basic Phase Training, according to the Navy.

“Completing repairs and upgrades to Fitzgerald was only possible because of the outstanding teamwork between the government and industry teams over the last 2 1/2 years. My thanks go out to everyone involved in making sure the ship is ready, and I’m especially proud of my crew's hard work ensuring we are trained and prepared to take our ship back to sea,” said Cmdr. Scott Wilbur, commanding officer of Fitzgerald.

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