YOKOSUKA, Japan — The head of the U.S. Navy's has dedicated one of two destroyers involved in fatal accidents in the Pacific last year to Sen. John McCain.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer added McCain's name Thursday to a Japan-based warship that was already named for the Arizona senator's father and grandfather.

He said after a ceremony aboard the USS John S. McCain that recommended changes to naval practices since the accidents have been 78 percent implemented.

Seventeen sailors died after the McCain and the USS Fitzgerald collided with commercial vessels in separate incidents.

The ship was named after McCain's father and grandfather when it was launched in 1994. McCain is a Navy veteran.

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The senator is battling brain cancer.

Spencer said that McCain always put country first, as a warrior and a statesman.