YOKOSUKA, Japan – The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returned to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka today aboard heavy lift transport vessel Transshelf.
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 Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi for further repairs and upgrades.
Fitzgerald was towed to deep water to begin the heavy lift process Nov. 24. 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.
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. The Navy released a comprehensive review of the incident Nov. 1.