The repaired USS John S. McCain at sea. Navy photo

The guided-missile destroyer heavily damaged in a collision with a merchant ship in 2017 has returned to the fleet after extensive repairs in Japan.

The Navy announced Sunday that the USS John S. McCain had completed necessary repairs and weapons upgrades and is in the midst of comprehensive testing at sea.

The destroyer collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC in the early morning hours of Aug. 21, 2017, off the coast of Singapore and Malaysia, east of the heavily traveled Strait of Malacca. Ten sailors were killed.

The warship’s commander and executive officer were later relieved of duty.

Damage to the hull of the USS John McClain. Navy photo

The John S. McCain, named for both the grandfather and father of the late Sen. John S. McCain III, is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

“This whole crew is eager to get back to sea, and that’s evident in the efforts they’ve made over the last two years to bring the ship back to fighting shape, and the energy they’ve put into preparing themselves for the rigors of at-sea operations,” said Cmdr. Ryan T. Easterday, the warship’s commanding officer.

During the repair upgrades were made to the ship’s computer network, antenna systems, radar array and combat weapons systems.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.