McCain honor

Navy ded­i­cates de­stroyer to Ari­zona se­na­tor

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE -

YOKOSUKA, Ja­pan — The head of the U.S. Navy on Thurs­day ded­i­cated one of two de­stroy­ers in­volved in fa­tal ac­ci­dents in the Pa­cific last year to Sen. John McCain.

Navy Sec­re­tary Richard Spencer, in a cer­e­mony aboard the USS John S. McCain at a naval base in Ja­pan, added McCain’s name to a war­ship that had al­ready been named for the Ari­zona se­na­tor’s fa­ther and grand­fa­ther. All three gen­er­a­tions of McCains have the same name.

Spencer told re­porters af­ter the cer­e­mony that changes to naval prac­tices rec­om­mended af­ter the ac­ci­dents have been 78 per­cent im­ple­mented. Some are com­pleted, while oth­ers such as in­still­ing a cul­ture of con­tin­u­ous learn­ing will take two years.

Seven­teen sailors died af­ter the USS Fitzger­ald and then the McCain col­lided with com­mer­cial ves­sels in sep­a­rate in­ci­dents in June and Au­gust of 2017.

Scaf­fold­ing cov­ers the mast of the McCain as work to re­pair the ship, which had a gap­ing hole in its side, con­tin­ues at Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo. Spencer said the Navy hopes to put the ship back out to sea next spring.

The guided-mis­sile de­stroyer was named af­ter McCain’s fa­ther and grand­fa­ther, both Navy vet­er­ans, when it was launched in 1994. McCain was a naval avi­a­tor who was im­pris­oned and tor­tured dur­ing the Viet­nam War. The 81-year-old law­maker is bat­tling brain can­cer.

“As a war­rior and a states­man he al­ways put coun­try first,” Spencer said in re­marks to about 265 mem­bers of the as­sem­bled crew of the McCain.

He called the McCains “three dis­tin­guished of­fi­cers. Three truly re­mark­able Amer­i­cans.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

THE USS JOHN S. MCCAIN UN­DER RE­PAIR AT A DRY DOCK IS SEEN af­ter a reded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, south­west of Tokyo, on Thurs­day. Navy Sec­re­tary Richard Spencer ded­i­cated one of two de­stroy­ers in­volved in fa­tal ac­ci­dents in the Pa­cific last year to Sen. John McCain. He added McCain’s name to a Ja­pan-based war­ship that was al­ready named for the Ari­zona se­na­tor’s fa­ther and grand­fa­ther.

JOHN MCCAIN

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