Damaged USS Fitzgerald Loaded in Japan

uss fitzgerald heavy lift
USS Fitzgerald loaded atop the heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf. Photo: Kiernan French

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) has been loaded aboard the heavy lift transport vessel Transshelf and begin her journey to Pascagoula, Mississippi for further repairs.

Fitzgerald departed Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka under tow on November 24 begin the heavy lift process in deep water.

Transshelf will transport Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipbuilding for repairs following its collision with a merchant vessel in June.

uss fitzgerald heavy lift
Photo: Kiernan French

The Navy reports that 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 suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline. The Navy released a comprehensive review of the incident November 1.

The loading of the Fitzgerald comes as the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, which is loaded aboard the heavy lift vessel MV Treasure, remains in Subic Bay, Philippines, about one month after it had to be rerouted after the destroyer developed a small crack during its transit from Singapore to Japan.

Here are some more photos of the loading process: 

U.S. Navy Photo
U.S. Navy Photo
U.S. Navy Photo
TOKYO BAY, Japan – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) is loaded onto heavy lift transport MV Transshelf. U.S. Navy Photo