The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) departed Huntington Ingalls Industries, Ingalls Shipbuilding division’s Pascagoula shipyard June 13 to return to her homeport in San Diego. The sail away reflects more than two years’ worth of effort in restoring and modernizing one of the Navy’s most capable warships after it was damaged during a collision in 2017 that claimed the lives of seven Sailors. To restore the impacted spaces to full operations and functionality, various Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E), Combat System (CS) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C5I) repairs were completed.
Due to the extent and complexity of the restoration, both repair and new construction procedures were used to accomplish the restoration and modernization efforts. Throughout this restoration period, the U.S. Navy made it a priority to ensure Fitzgerald returned to a peak state of warfighting readiness to contribute to an agile and dynamic fleet. The Fitzgerald crew completed multiple training and certification events, such as Navigation Assessment and Light Off Assessment (LOA), to ensure the crew was at peak readiness to operate the ship as it returns to homeport.
Prior to departing Pascagoula for San Diego, Fitzgerald’s crew began a pre-movement sequester on May 23 in accordance with U.S. Navy pre-deployment guidelines—compliance with Navy and CDC guidance is critical to minimize the spread of COVID-19. DDG 62 is assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 and upon return to her homeport in San Diego, crew training and certifications will commence in support of Basic Phase Training. Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy’s five systems commands.
USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), named for United States Navy officer Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald, is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the US Navy. Fitzgerald’s keel was laid down by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, 9 February 1993 and launched 29 January 1994. The Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers (DDGs) is a United States Navy class of destroyer built around the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction passive electronically scanned array radar. The ship was then homeported in Naval Base San Diego, California.