WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy will heavy lift the damaged destroyer John S. McCain to Japan where it will be repaired, according to a Navy release Wednesday evening.
McCain has been in Singapore since Aug. 21, when it collided with an oil and chemical tanker near the Straits of Malacca, an accident that claimed the lives of 10 sailors.
“Damage assessments conducted while the ship was moored in Singapore since the Aug. 21 collision revealed the scope of work could be completed in Japan at the lowest estimated cost and returns the ship to full service at the earliest opportunity,” the release said.
The work will be completed at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka. The Navy did not provide a cost estimate.
The accident was the second of the summer for the Navy. In June, the destroyer Fitzgerald collided with a container ship near Japan, killing seven sailors.
The collisions, along with two other safety incidents in 2017, led to a wholesale house cleaning in the Pacific. Pacific Fleet head Adm. Scott Swift fired the three-star U.S. 7th Fleet Commander, followed by a later announcement that he himself would retire after being passed up for U.S. Pacific Command by the Chief of Naval Operations.
The head of the surface Navy, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, has also announced he plans to retire early.
Additionally, the head of the Japan-based Task Force 70, Rear Adm. Charles Williams, and the destroyer squadron commander were both fired by new 7th Fleet boss Vice Adm. Philip Sawyer.
The collisions are part of a broader investigation into fleet operations by Fleet Forces head Adm. Phil Davidson.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.