USS John S. McCain (DDG-56)
USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) underway in January 2003
|Name:||John S. McCain|
|Namesake:||John S. McCain, Sr., John S. McCain, Jr., and John S. McCain III|
|Ordered:||13 December 1988|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works|
|Laid down:||3 September 1991|
|Launched:||26 September 1992|
|Sponsored by:||Cindy McCain|
|Commissioned:||2 July 1994|
|Motto:||Fortune Favors the Brave|
|Nickname(s):||"Big Bad John"|
|Class and type:||Arleigh Burke-class destroyer|
|Length:||505 ft (154 m)|
|Beam:||66 ft (20 m)|
|Draft:||31 ft (9.4 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)|
|Speed:||>30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
|Aircraft carried:||2 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters can be embarked|
USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer currently in the service of the United States Navy. She is part of the Destroyer Squadron 15 within the Seventh Fleet, and has her homeport at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan.
The destroyer was involved in a collision with the container ship Alnic MC on 21 August 2017 off the coast of Singapore, which resulted in the deaths of ten of her crew, and left another five injured.
This warship was originally named after John S. McCain, Sr., and John S. McCain, Jr., both admirals in the United States Navy. John S. McCain, Sr. commanded the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, and later the Fast Carrier Task Force during the latter stages of World War II. John S. McCain, Jr. commanded the submarines USS Gunnel and USS Dentuda during World War II. He subsequently held a number of posts, rising to Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Command, before retiring in 1972. These men were, respectively, the grandfather and father of Senator John S. McCain III.
On 11 July 2018, at a rededication ceremony, Senator John McCain was added as a namesake, along with his father and grandfather.
Construction and commissioning
John S. McCain's keel was laid down on 3 September 1991, at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. She was launched on 26 September 1992, sponsored by Cindy McCain, the wife of Senator John McCain III, and was commissioned on 2 July 1994, at the Bath Iron Works. The former President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, was the ceremony's principal speaker. The ship was initially assigned a home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and shifted to a forward-deploy port in Yokosuka, Japan in 1997.
In January 2003, John S. McCain deployed to the Persian Gulf. She launched 39 Tomahawk missiles in support of the invasion of Iraq and was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for her service. John S. McCain was awarded the Navy Battle E for DESRON 15 in 2003 and again in 2004. On 16 February 2007, John S. McCain was awarded the 2006 Battle Effectiveness Award.
On 11 June 2009, a Chinese submarine reportedly collided with the towed sonar array of John S. McCain near Subic Bay, Philippines. The incident caused damage to the array but was described as an "inadvertent encounter".
In June 2009, John S. McCain pursued the North Korean cargo ship Kang Nam 1 toward Burma in enforcement of the new United Nations resolution of an arms export embargo against North Korea. The vessel was suspected of carrying arms for the Burmese junta government. Kang Nam 1 returned to North Korea without delivering her cargo to Burma.
In March 2011, in company with the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the ship was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. During that time, the ship may have been exposed to leaking radiation from the Fukushima I nuclear accidents.
In April 2013, John S. McCain was sent to South Korea during escalating tensions between the Koreas. In June 2014, John S. McCain was sent to Subic Bay to perform in CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training) exercises.
On 2 October 2016, USS John S. McCain and USS Frank Cable made the first port visit by U.S. Navy ships to Cam Ranh Bay since end of the Vietnam War in 1975. In August 2017, John S. McCain sailed within 6 nautical miles (7 mi; 11 km) of Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, exercising a claim to freedom of navigation. China, claiming sovereignty over the reef, expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" in response to the action. A US Navy representative reported that a Chinese frigate had sent at least ten radio messages warning that the John S. McCain was in Chinese waters, to which the US ship replied that it was "conducting routine operations in international waters."
2017 MV Alnic MC collision
At 5:24 a.m. on 21 August 2017, John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the Liberian-flagged Alnic MC off the coast of Singapore and Malaysia, east of the Strait of Malacca. According to a United States Navy press release, the breach "resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms." Ten US Navy sailors died as a result of the crash. After the incident, the ship, which sustained damage to her port side aft, was able to sail to Changi Naval Base in Singapore under her own power. The U.S. Navy announced on 24 August 2017 that it had suspended search-and-rescue efforts for survivors in the open sea to focus on the recovery of the remains of the missing sailors still inside the flooded compartments of the ship. By 27 August U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers had recovered the remains of all 10 sailors.
Throughout 2018, she was under repair in drydock and by November 2018, the ship left drydock and was transferred to a pier to continue her repairs, that are expected to be finished in late 2019.
Investigation into the collision showed that an overly complex touchscreen system used for throttle control and training deficiencies had contributed to a loss of control of the ship just before it crossed paths with a merchant ship in the Singapore Strait, prompting a decision by the Navy to revert ships of this class to mechanical throttle controls fleetwide.
John S. McCain firing a RIM-67 Standard: 6 February 2004
John S. McCain (foreground) and Australian destroyer Brisbane: 19 May 2001
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- "Navy Reverting DDGs Back to Physical Throttles, After Fleet Rejects Touchscreen Controls". U.S. Naval Institute News. 9 August 2019.
- Global Security's page on John S. McCain
- Fred Willshaw. "USS John S. McCain (DDG-56)". NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
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