When the USS John S. McCain received significant damage in a deadly collision with a merchant vessel near the Strait of Malacca in August, its first stop was in Singapore for emergency repairs, medical treatment for injured personnel, and recovering the remains of the 10 sailors who died.
However, the Navy has now determined it would be best to move the missile destroyer to Yokosuka Japan for a more thorough damage assessment and the health of the crew.
To a civilian, it might seem like a problem — getting a huge, damaged vessel across more than 3,000 miles of Pacific Ocean without endangering the ship or the crew even more. To the Navy, it’s just another job that needs to be done — and there are tools out there to do it.
“The Navy is moving USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) to Yokosuka to allow the crew to be close to their families and to allow for a complete assessment of the damage,” read a Naval Systems Sea Command statement released this week.
“Completion of the damage assessment is required to fully determine repair plans to include cost, schedule and location for the ship’s repairs.”
To get the destroyer to Japan, the Navy plans on using a civilian warship transporter — a heavy-lift ship so big it makes even a gigantic destroyer look like a child’s toy.
Take a close look at this photo:
That would be the destroyer USS Cole being carried by that monster freighter, the MV Blue Marlin, back to the United States after a terrorist attack near Yemen in 2000. There are several such heavy transports in existence. The Navy plans on issuing a task order on an existing contract to have the USS John S. McCain moved.
The ship is intended to be transported to Japan in late September, according to U.S. Naval Institute News.
Is anyone else completely dumbfounded by the fact that there are transport ships so large that they can just have warships on them to transport them from place to place? It’s reminiscent of when a child goes out to play, gets tuckered out, then the child’s father picks him or her up and takes them home.
At more than 500 feet long and 60 feet abeam, the USS John S. McCain is no child — not by a long shot.
That’s just how enormous this ship is.
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