USS Fitzgerald begins restoration works at Pascagoula

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) has arrived in Pascagoula, Mississippi for repairs aboard heavy lift vessel Transshelf from Yokosuka, Japan.

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.

Fitzgerald is expected to spend several days in the port as the heavy lift ship begins the reverse operation of unfastening, lowering and guiding the ship off the platform. The ship will then be taken to its designated pier space at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard for repair and new construction procedures.

Fitzgerald will also receive various hull mechanical and electrical (HM&E) works including command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, and upgrade combat system equipment, including the electronic warfare suite, radar and switchboard. The gas turbine generator and air-conditioning plant also require repair and/or replacement.

Work on the ship is expected to occur on a land level facility throughout 2018 and one to two quarters of 2019, followed by an extensive test and trials period to ensure all systems and spaces are restored to full functionality and operational capability.

The works come as the US Navy announced last week that Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) charges were being preferred against individual service members in relation to the collision.

Courts-martial proceedings/Article 32 hearings are being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against Fitzgerald members.

The commanding officer, two lieutenants, and one lieutenant junior grade face charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide.

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