Fitz Looking Better

The past week saw a battered old greyhound sortie out to find her sealegs again. The early Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) sailed from Pascagoula to conduct “comprehensive at-sea testing, marking a significant step in her return to warfighting readiness.”

I caught her last weekend, just after she returned to the West Bank at Ingalls. To put into perspective how much her class has changed since she was laid down in 1993, Fitz is moored just downriver to PCU DDG-119. (Photo: Chris Eger)

Damaged during a collision in 2017 that claimed the lives of seven of her Sailors, Fitzgerald has spent the past two years on a long march back to the fleet and is almost there.

“Since we launched the ship this past April our efforts have focused on restoring ship systems, conducting pier-side tests and readying the ship for sea,” said RADM Tom Anderson, NAVSEA’s director of surface ship maintenance and modernization and commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center in a statement. “The government and industry team has been working hand-in-hand on this exceptionally complex effort, with a common purpose of returning Fitzgerald to sea and ultimately back to the fleet.”

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