By Lt. j.g. Bill Morrison, USS Fitzgerald Public Affairs Office
PACIFIC OCEAN – The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) completed the basic phase of the training cycle May 26, after completing naval surface fire support (NSFS) and towing exercises off the coast of Japan.
“I am incredibly proud of how my crew performed during these very complex evolutions,” said Cmdr. Dennis Velez, commanding officer of Fitzgerald. “Safe and successful evolutions like these are true testaments to the seamanship and determination of our crew.”
Naval vessels use NSFS to provide fire support to troops on the ground in combat situations.
Fitzgerald’s Sailors completed five live simulated fire power ashore drills, shooting 59 rounds from the 5-inch/.54-caliber main battery.
The ship passed the certification with a score of 95 percent, the best score this year.
While transiting back to Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Fitzgerald conducted a towing exercises with U.S. Navy tugboat Seminole (YT 805), the first of the new Z-drive tugboats put into service in Yokosuka.
Fitzgerald crews rigged a 600 foot towing hawser to the ship, towing Seminole for 30 minutes, while executing a 90 degree turn.
Fitzgerald is the 12th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, as part of Destroyer Squadron 15 in the U.S. 7th Fleet.