The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) departed anchorage in Yokosuka Harbor Dec. 9, aboard heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf bound for Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Transshelf will transport Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard for repairs and upgrades. Fitzgerald, which returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka June 17, completed a series of preparations for on load to MV Transshelf, including dewatering, defueling, layup maintenance, hull and superstructure repairs.
Departure from Yokosuka was delayed a few days due to damage that occurred during the onload process, which involved lowering MV Transshelf in the water, towing Fitzgerald onto a platform, and securing the ship for transport. During this process, the steel support structure punctured Fitzgerald’s hull, requiring repairs in port. Both ships returned to anchorage Dec. 1 where final onload preparations continued until departure to ensure safe transport.
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 the starboard side above and below the waterline. The U.S.Navy released a comprehensive review of the incident Nov. 1.