USS Fitzgerald Refloated

April 18, 2019

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald launched from dry dock and is moored pier-side in Mississippi, a step closer to being fully repaired after a 2017 collision that left seven sailors dead, the Navy said.

The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command says the USS Fitzgerald launched out of a dry dock Tuesday at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Fitzgerald moored alongside a pier for work that Rear Adm. Jim Downey says will now include testing and outfitting.

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) sits inside a dry-dock in preparation for launch at Huntington Ingalls Industries Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard on April 16, 2019. US Navy Photo
USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) sits inside a dry-dock in preparation for launch at Huntington Ingalls Industries Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard on April 16, 2019. US Navy Photo

The ship arrived in Pascagoula on board a heavy lift ship on January 19, 2018, after sustaining extensive damage in a collision with the containership ACX Crystal on June 17, 2017.

Since the ship’s arrival at Ingalls, work has focused on restoring the integrity of the hull and topside structures that were damaged during the collision.

“The complexity of this overhaul has been challenging, but our planning team at Bath Iron Works and waterfront team at HII is executing repairs and installing upgrades so that Fitzgerald returns to our sailors lethal and mission-ready,” said Rear Adm. Jim Downey, deputy commander for surface warfare and commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center. “We’re excited to have the ship back in the water where we can begin outfitting and testing efforts in support of getting the ship and crew back underway.”

Due to the extent and complexity of the restoration, both repair and new construction procedures are being used to accomplish the restoration and modernization efforts.

“This undocking is a step forward and brings us that much closer to getting Fitzgerald back out to sea – where the ship belongs,” said Cmdr. Garrett Miller, Fitzgerald’s commanding officer. “I’m proud of this crew’s hard work over the past year and look forward returning to the fleet with enhanced warfighting capability and lethality.”

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