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Navy to commission Arleigh Burke destroyer USS John Finn
by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) Jul 14, 2017


USS Fitzgerald moves to dry dock for evaluation
Washington (UPI) Jul 11, 2017 - The destroyer USS Fitzgerald, damaged in a June 17 collision with a cargo ship, entered a dry dock in Yokosuka, Japan, for evaluation, the Navy said.

Seven U.S. sailors died in the collision between the Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged cargo ship 64 miles south of Yokosuka Naval Base.

Cmdr. Bryce Benson, captain of the Navy ship, was injured in the collision when his cabin was crushed by the cargo ship's impact. He was rescued while hanging from the side of his ship, and was temporarily relieved of command Tuesday until he recovers from his unidentified injuries.

The Fitzgerald arrived at the Yokosuka naval base within hours after the collision, with a 12-by-17-foot hole ripped in its starboard side below the waterline. The impact crushed the ship's superstructure, twisted its hull and ruined tens of millions of dollars of electrical equipment aboard, the U.S. Naval Institute reported Wednesday.

Dry dock status, in which the ship is pulled completely from the water, will allow more complete evaluation of the extent of damage. The Navy will then determine if the ship should be repaired in Japan or in the United States.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn will be commissioned Saturday in a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris will give the principal speech with Mrs. Laura Stavridis, wife of retired Admiral James Stavridis, serving as the sponsor. Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackly spoke in a U.S. Defense Department news release about the ship's namesake, Chief John Finn.

"During World War II, Chief Finn distinguished himself through heroic service to his fellow Sailors and our nation. I know the men and women who make up the crew of USS John Finn will carry his legacy forward with the same selfless service he distinguished more than 75 years ago," Stackley said.

Finn had been awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the attack on Pearl Habor.

The John Finn win will be the 63rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and the first commissioned in nearly five years.

The destroyer class boasts the AEGIS Weapons System that integrates radar and other sensor data with the ship's missiles and torpedoes to detect, track and engage enemy threats.

Some in the class are capable of anti-ballistic missile defense using the Standard Missile-3 and its AN/SPy-1 radar. The Arleigh Burke-class serves as the primary surface warfare ship of the of the U.S. Navy alongside the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers.

FLOATING STEEL
USNS Lewis B. Puller expeditionary sea base deploys for first time
Washington (UPI) Jul 13, 2017
The USNS Lewis B. Puller has deployed from Val Air Station Norfolk, marking the first operational cruise of the expeditionary sea base as it joins its supporting role in the U.S. Fifth Fleet. The Puller is part of the U.S. Navy's Sealift Command and has a joint U.S. Navy and civilian crew. "The Puller is a brand new ship, so we had a lot to learn. The military crew has been train ... read more

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