The destroyer was extensively damaged in a 2017 collision with a Philippines-flagged cargo vessel in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Seven sailors, including two from San Diego, died in the early-morning accident, prompting a a shakeup in Navy training procedures.
During the repairs at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, workers repaired the hull, refurbished wrecked interior spaces and upgraded the ship’s computer and radar systems. The ship, commissioned in 1995, now has the latest combat technology used on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers built today.
“Today the ‘Fighting Fitz’ is returning to the Pacific Fleet as one of our nation’s most capable war-fighting platforms, marking a significant step in her return to war-fighting readiness,” said Rear Adm. Eric Ver Hage, director of surface ship maintenance and modernization.
“The Fitzgerald sailors, our Navy project teams and the men and women of Ingalls put forth a tremendous effort to restore the ship to fighting shape and did so on schedule,” he noted
When the destroyer arrives in San Diego, crew training and certifications will commence in preparation for a future deployment.
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