Following Wake of Terrorist Attacks, USS Cole is Relaunched

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Shortly following terrorist attacks in both New York and Washington, D.C., USS Cole, the destroyer, which was itself the victim of a terrorist attack, was relaunched back into the water on September 14 at Northrop Grumman Corporation. The ship was launched a day earlier than previously scheduled at the company's Ingalls Operations.

The ship had been moved onto land in January into a construction bay near where Cole was originally built by Northrop Grumman. The USS Cole crippled in a terrorist attack in the Port of Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000, returned to its construction shipyard on the deck of the Norwegian heavy lift ship Blue Marlin last December.

Capt. Philip N. Johnson, USN, supervisor of Shipbuilding. Pascagoula, said that work to date aboard the USS Cole has consisted of more than 550 tons of steel structural repairs to replace the damaged area's exterior plating. He added that the relaunching of Cole represents completion of all structural repairs and restoration.

Other completed work includes the replacement of damaged and unserviceable equipment, and removal, evaluation and recertification of critical systems such as shafting and propellers. The repair process is moving along as scheduled. Following the relaunch, work will be completed on component system assemblies, alignment of machinery, energizing, testing and alignment of all systems, and completion of logistics and supply support outfitting. USS Cole will then be turned over to the crew for training and recertification.

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