By Zachary Cohen CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN)– The USS Fitzgerald, a Navy destroyer that was damaged in June after a deadly accident with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan, suffered 2 leaks to its hull on Sunday while being packed onto a transport ship predestined for the United States, inning accordance with the service.
Already crippled as an outcome of the June 17 collision that killed 7 US sailors, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was gone to Mississippi for repair work but was forced to go back to its home port in Yokosuka, Japan when it sustained extra damage in an incident including a heavy lift transportation vessel called the Transshelf.
“Fitzgerald returned to fix 2 leaks in her hull caused by the heavy lift vessel’s steel assistance structure during on load at anchorage,” the United States Navy 7th Fleet stated in a statement.
“Repairs are anticipated to extend the on load process by a couple of days, after which Transshelf will transport Fitzgerald to Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi for additional repair work and upgrades,” the declaration stated.
The warship was pulled to deep water last week to begin the packing process while en route back to the US for repairs after the crash previously this year triggered substantial damage to its starboard side above and listed below the waterline.
While Sunday’s event is just expected to postpone the Fitzgerald’s trip back to the US by only a few days, the timing is less than ideal for the United States Navy as the service continues to handle the fallout of a current wave of issues involving the 7th fleet.
Two US guided-missile destroyers, USS Fitzgerald and USS John S McCain, suffered collisions with merchant ships, leaving 17 United States sailors dead and the 2 warships needing numerous millions of dollars in repairs.
The accidents, off Japan and Singapore respectively, likewise left the Navy questioning how two of the most sophisticated ships on the seas could not even browse crowded shipping lanes.
In total, the 7th Fleet has actually clocked up five significant non-combat occurrences in 2017 including ships and an additional two involving airplane, consisting of last week’s crash in the Philippine Sea of an aircraft taking personnel to the Reagan.
An US Federal government Accountability Office report from September alerted lengthy releases of US ships based in Japan– as both the Fitzgerald and McCain had actually been at the time of their crashes– often lead to key training requirements being ignored due to the needs of functional tasks, something the report refers to as a “issue.”
Appearing before your house Armed Solutions Committee as part of an examination into the series of fatal crashes and accidents at sea, the Navy’s No. 2 officer, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran, said the Navy is aiming to do excessive with too little.
“We continue to have a supply-and-demand issue which is positioning a heavy stress on the force,” stated Moran.
The Navy has introduced several examinations, a safety time out, and evaluates in the wake of the recent accidents.
The service has also taken numerous workers actions, including sacking the leaders of the Fitzgerald and the McCain, numerous other senior officers, along with the leader of 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the very first time a fleet commander has been eased of duty in the history of the United States Navy.
The Navy’s internal report on the Fitzgerald and McCain accidents, launched in early November, stated cutting corners to meet demands on 7th Fleet ships had become the norm.
“The dangers that were taken in the Western Pacific built up with time, and did so insidiously,” the report stated. “The dynamic environment normalized to the point where individuals and groups of individuals might no longer recognize that the procedures in location to recognize and evaluate preparedness were not working at the ship and headquarters level.”
CNN’s Brad Lendon contributed to this report.
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