NORFOLK, Va. – The U.S. Navy's newest ship had to be towed to a base in Virginia after breaking down during its journey to its home port in California.
The USS Milwaukee, a littoral combat ship that was commissioned in November, was towed more than 40 nautical miles to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek after suffering an engineering casualty on Friday, The Navy Times reported (http://bit.ly/1UfolwL ).
The ship was on its way from Halifax, Canada to Mayport, Florida, where it was planning to stop before continuing on its trek to its port in San Diego.
The cause of the ship's failure remains under investigation, but officials say it appears that metal debris collected in the lube oil filer, causing the system to shut down. The problems began soon after the ship left Halifax and officials dropped anchor while engineers worked on the system.
A salvage ship eventually met up with the Milwaukee and towed it to the Virginia base.
Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Navy Times that the problems with the Milwaukee are "deeply alarming," particularly because it was commissioned just last month.
"I expect the Navy to conduct a thorough investigation into the root causes of this failure, hold individuals accountable as appropriate, and keep the Senate Armed Services Committee informed," he said in a statement.
The USS Milwaukee was built in Marinette, Wisconsin and was commissioned in Milwaukee. Littoral combat ships can operate much closer to shore, and go at faster speeds, than other vessels.
Information from The Navy Times: http://www.navytimes.com