The U.S. Navy devotes destroyer Sen. John McCain

The USS John S. McCain is repaired after a deadly accident last year.

(AP Photos)

The U.S. Navy Thursday is dedicated to one of the Japan-based guided missile destroyers to ailing U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer added the Arizona Republican’s name to the USS John S. McCain, which is already the name for McCain’s father and grandfather. All three generations of McCains have the same name.

“As a warrior and a statesman who has always the country first, Sen. John McCain never asked for this honor, and he would never ask,” Spencer said. “But we would be remiss if we did not etch his name along his illustrious ancestors, because this country would not be the same were it not for the courageous service of all three of these great men.”

The guided missile destroyer is named after McCain’s father and grandfather, both Navy veterans, when it was launched in 1994. McCain was a navy pilot, who was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War. The 81-year-old legislator is fighting brain cancer.

In August 2017, ten sailors were killed in the McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. Two months earlier, seven sailors died when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a commercial ship off the coast of Japan.

Spencer told reporters after the ceremony, the changes to naval practices recommended after the accidents are 78 percent implemented. Some are completed, while others, such as the formation of a culture of continuous learning lasts two years.

Work to restore the McCain is running at Yokosuka Naval base south of Tokyo and Spencer told reporters the Navy hopes to have the ship back in the following spring.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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