SAN DIEGO - At approximately 9:20 a.m. PST, USS Essex (LHD 2) collided with USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) during an approach for a routine underway replenishment approximately 120 miles off the coast of Southern California due to an apparent steering malfunction aboard Essex. While both ships reported some damage, no one was injured, there was no fuel spilled and the ships' fuel tanks and systems were not compromised.

The Navy will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the collision, and a full assessment of any damage is ongoing.

Essex is scheduled to return to San Diego May 17 after completing 12 years as the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in Sasebo, Japan. The crew of USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) took over Essex April 23, during a planned hull swap. USNS Yukon is a Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler operating out of San Diego.