Instead of heading home to San Diego as planned, the USS Warrior is leaving Bahrain and heading toward Japan. The ship will replace the USS Guardian, according to 7th Fleet public affairs, which has been grounded on a reef near the Philippines since January 17.
The Warrior recently completed a deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, and was slated to head back to San Diego.
Fortunately for Warrior families, most of the crew will still head home to San Diego. A heavy-lift transport ship will carry the Warrior from Bahrain to Japan. And, at some point in the future, there will be a special ceremony in Sasebo, Japan, where the crew of the Warrior will officially hand over their ship to the crew of the Guardian.
As Home Post previously reported, the Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef the morning of January 17 while transiting the Sulu Sea, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island.
The Navy determined the ship was "beyond economical repair." Salvage crews are in the process of cutting the Guardian into pieces so it can be removed from the environmentally-sensitive reef.