After nearly two years of repairs and modernization, the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) is back at sea. The ship received extensive damage in a June 17, 2017 collision with the containership ACX Crystal in which seven sailors lost their lives.
Today, the ship departed Huntington Ingalls Industries-Ingalls Shipbuilding’s Pascagoula shipyard at approximately 6:30 a.m. (CDT) to conduct a series of demonstrations to evaluate that its onboard systems meet or exceed Navy performance specifications. Among the systems that will be tested are navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, communications, and propulsion.
“Since we launched the ship this past April our efforts have focused on restoring ship systems, conducting pier side tests and readying the ship for sea,” said Rear Adm. Tom Anderson, NAVSEA director Surface Ship Maintenance and Modernization and commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center. “The government and industry team has been working hand-in-hand on this exceptionally complex effort, with a common purpose of returning Fitzgerald to sea and ultimately back to the Fleet.”
On Fitzgerald’s return to the shipyard from trials, crew training and certifications will commence as final work items are completed in support of the ship’s sail away later this spring and return to the Fleet mission-ready.