USS John S. McCain Certified for Return to Operations After Collision Repairs, Upgrades

The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) successfully completed basic phase certification, on June 2, following months of training and preparation to return the ship and its crew to operational status.

The vessel was undergoing repairs and extensive, accelerated upgrades over the last two years, following a collision in August 2017. McCain returned to sea in October 2019 and entered basic phase training the next month. Since that time, the crew has undergone extensive in-port and underway training with teams from Afloat Training Group (ATG) and the Center for Surface Combat Systems.

Basic phase training and certification is an extensive process required for all naval surface ships prior to operational tasking. McCain crew members received instruction and evaluation in 23 different areas including seamanship, navigation, supply, engineering, electronic warfare, medical and damage control drills. The training process begins with basic level of knowledge and builds up to integrated operations in complex environments designed to simulate real-world events.

With the basic phase now complete, McCain is ready to rejoin the operating forces of 7th Fleet, and is scheduled to operate alongside allies and partners to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.

USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Underway for At-Sea Testing
In this file photo, USS John S. McCain departs Yokosuka in October 2019 to conduct comprehensive at-sea testing.  This was the first underway for John S. McCain since its collision in 2017. (U.S. Navy Photo by MC1 Torrey W. Lee)

USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21 2017. Ten sailors were killed in the incident with five injured.

The vessel arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka on Dec. 13 that year aboard heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure and entered dry dock at the Navy’s Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) Yokosuka in February. She was successfully launched from dry dock on Nov. 27, 2018.

Multiple upgrades to the ship’s computer network, antenna systems, radar array, combat weapons systems, and berthing have ensured John S. McCain is returning to operational missions with improved capability and lethality.

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