LCS Developments

An important milestone in the littoral combat ship program was the arrival of USS Freedom (LCS 1) in Singapore this week, highlighting the next phase of her deployment to Southeast Asia.

Sailors assigned to the Forward Liaison Element of the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) observe Freedom as it arrives in Singapore, April 18.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

Sailors assigned to the Forward Liaison Element of the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) observe Freedom as it arrives in Singapore, April 18. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

 

Freedom transited the Pacific Ocean while making scheduled port visits in Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines.

The ship is currently being operated by Crew 102 (Gold Crew), but will be relieved by Crew 101 midway through deployment later this summer.

Crew 101 (Blue Crew), normally embarked on Freedom, successfully completed critical crew certification aboard its sister ship, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) on April 16, making them the first LCS crew to take command of multiple LCS ships. This marks the first time Crew 101 has been on a ship other than Freedom, while still keeping with the same variant.

Crew 101 shifted from preparing Freedom for deployment, to completing off-hull training, and then took command of Fort Worth to get underway for certification while operating in a battle group. This allowed Sailors to keep their qualifications up-to-date and watchstanding skills sharp.

Before taking over the ship, Crew 101 trained to familiarize themselves with the differences between ship systems operations. This was beneficial since lessons learned from Freedom influenced improvements for Fort Worth.

The Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) sails alongside USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as part of a strait transit demonstration during the aircraft carrier's Sustainment Exercise off the coast of Southern California, April 14. Fort Worth, a semi-planing, mono-hull vessel, is a fast, agile, and mission-focused platform designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. The ship is designed to operate in hostile near-shore environments, known as "the littorals", and to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. Fort Worth is the second of the Freedom variant of LCS. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Phil Ladouceur/Released)

The Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) sails alongside USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as part of a strait transit demonstration during the aircraft carrier’s Sustainment Exercise off the coast of Southern California, April 14. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Phil Ladouceur/Released)

An increasing number of Sailors continue to get certified on LCS, and more ship systems certifications are in progress to ensure deployment readiness.

To share information and encourage dialogue about the LCS program, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet hosted an informational panel for chief petty officers at Naval Base San Diego on April 17. Chiefs were encouraged to share knowledge gained with other Sailors along the waterfront and within their respective commands. Afterward, several chiefs stayed for a pierside tour of USS Independence (LCS 2).

The Navy recently announced that the next LCS, Coronado (LCS 4) will be commissioned in its namesake city, with the ceremony expected to take place on Naval Air Station North Island.

(Originally posted on iDriveWarships)