The destroyer Fitzgerald arrived in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Jan. 19, where it is expected to spend approximately the next two years undergoing restoration and modernization, according to a Navy press release.
A crowd of several hundred excited community members greeted the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, transported aboard the heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf, according to the Sun Herald. An even bigger crowd is expected at the future send-off.
“This is America. This is how we treat our ships,” Claude Toler, of Ocean Springs, told the Herald.
The starboard of the destroyer was damaged in a collision with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal on June 17 off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors died in the crash.
The Navy announced on Jan. 16 that negligent homicide charges will be sought against Fitz commanding officer Cmdr. Bryce Benson. The CO of the destroyer McCain, which was also involved in a fatal collision in August that killed 10 sailors, faces the same charges.
The Fitzgerald was already scheduled for modernization, originally planned for the 2019 fiscal year. It will be transported from the Port of Pascagoula to the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard, where it will begin the restoration process.