SAN DIEGO – An aerial target drone malfunctioned and struck the San Diego-based USS Chancellorsville, which damaged the ship and left two sailors with minor burns, Navy officials said.
The incident occurred at about 1:25 p.m. Saturday as the crew of the guided missile cruiser was conducting a radar tracking exercise during routine training off the Southern California coast, according to U.S. Third Fleet Deputy Public Affairs Officer Lt. Lenaya Rotklein.
The drone was being controlled remotely from Point Mugu at Naval Base Ventura County, according to Rotklein.
Two sailors were treated for minor burns, but no one was seriously injured, Rotklein said.
According to Rotklein, the USS Chancellorsville, while it remained capable of operations, returned to its homeport in San Diego Sunday morning, a week earlier than scheduled, to have the damage assessed. The crew was in “import operations” status.
Navy officials were looking into the cause of the drone malfunction, Rotklein said.