USS McCain back to sea for first time since deadly 2017 collision
The guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain has left port for the first time since a fatal collision with an oil tanker last year killed 10 of its crew and helped spark a major debate over readiness and command standards within the U.S. Navy.
According to a statement from the Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet, the USS John S. McCain launched from dry dock in Japan on Tuesday and is now moored to a pier at its home port of Yokosuka, south of Tokyo.
The August 2017 collision with an oil tanker near Singapore was among a string of incidents in Asia Pacific waters involving Navy warships which led to the removal of officers and an overhaul of training procedures.
A June 2017 crash in Japanese waters crash involving the USS Fitzgerald destroyer and a commercial vessel killed seven Navy sailors.
The Navy estimated the repair costs to the McCain and Fitzgerald to be about $600 million.
The McCain, which entered dry dock in February for repairs to its living quarters, also underwent some modernization work, Navy officials said.
In July, a month before the 81-year-old lawmaker died of brain cancer, the Navy added Sen. John McCain’s name to the warship, which had already been named for the Arizona Republican’s father and grandfather, both Navy veterans, when it was launched in 1994.
All three generations of McCains have the same name. Sen. McCain served in the Navy as an aviator and was imprisoned and tortured during the Vietnam War.