Three sailors, including the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, were medically evacuated from the Fitzgerald by Japanese military aircraft and rushed back to mainland during the ship's long transit home.
"All three Sailors are awake and will remain under observation at the hospital until further notice," the release said.
Two additional sailors who sustained cuts and bruises were flown off the ship by aircraft assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12. All other injuries were treated aboard Fitzgerald.
The accident occurred in a high-traffic area. Japan’s coast guard and maritime self-defense force surged to the scene, along with the U.S. destroyer Dewey. The military ships Ohnami, Hamagiri and Enshu responded alongside the coast guard ships Izanami and Kano, which aided the crew in searching for the missing seven sailors.
The ACX Crystal that collided with Fitzgerald has a dead weight listed at nearly 40,000 tons, roughly the size of the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima and more than four-times larger than the 8,900-ton Fitzgerald.
The collision set in motion a desperate damage-control effort to control the flooding beneath the waterline. Benson, the commanding officer, was seriously injured in the collision, prompting the ship's executive officer, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt, to assume command of the ship.
A search-and-rescue effort got underway once it was determined seven sailors were unaccounted for, with responding ships and aircraft scanning the sea to see if those personnel were in the water. That effort included a U.S. P-8 Poseidon, plus two Japanese helicopters and a P-3 Orion.
The head of U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, praised the sailors' efforts to save the ship and asked for privacy for the affected families in a statement.
"This has been a difficult day," Aucoin said. "I am humbled by the bravery and tenacity of the Fitzgerald crew. Now that the ship is in Yokosuka, I ask that you help the families by maintaining their privacy as we continue the search for our shipmates."
The Task Force 70 commander, Rear Adm. Charles Williams, echoed Aucoin and pointed to the Fitzgerald's crew as courageous.
"I want to highlight the extraordinary courage of the Fitzgerald Sailors who contained the flooding, stabilized the ship, and sailed her back to Yokosuka despite the exceptionally trying circumstances," Williams said.
The Navy is making counseling available to all affected sailors and family members, the statement read.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.