Navy to Change USS Fitzgerald’s Homeport to Pascagoula

USS fitzgerald collision
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy has announced that the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) will be changing homeport from Yokosuka, Japan to Pascagoula, Mississippi in support of repairs following its collision with a containership off Japan in June.

The change of homeport will be effective Dec. 15, the Navy said in a statement.

The Navy intends to award a contract initiating the restoration of USS Fitzgerald the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi, before the end of the fiscal year.

The USS Fitzgerald was involved in a major collision with the merchant vessel ACX Crystal on June 17, killing seven Navy sailors and causing significant damage to the warship’s starboard side.

The Navy says the start date, scope, cost and the time required to fully restore the ship have not yet been determined.

“The Navy chose [HII] following a review of the capabilities and workload of new construction and repair shipyards. Given the complexity of the work and the significant unknowns of the restoration, the Navy determined that only an Arleigh Burke-class shipbuilder could perform the effort. Only HII has the available capacity to restore USS Fitzgerald to full operational status in the shortest period of time with minimal disruption to ongoing repair and new construction work,” the Navy said in a statement.

The Navy awarded a contract for the heavy lift of USS Fitzgerald to Patriot Shipping, based out of Houston, Texas, using the Dockwise float-on/float-off heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf. The transport is expected to be completed by November 2017.