San Diego-based USS Fort Worth sets sail on maiden deployment

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth departed San Diego Monday for a 16-month assignment in Southeast Asia.

The vessel’s maiden deployment will include the first use of a drone helicopter aboard a deployed LCS, according to the Navy. Besides the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, it will carry one MH-60R Seahawk chopper.

While the Fort Worth will operate out of Singapore for well over one year, crews will rotate aboard the ship roughly every four months, according to the Navy.

“There is no doubt that LCS brings an enhanced capability to the Asia-Pacific region,” said Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, U.S. Third Fleet commander.

“We are proud of the crews for the countless hours of hard work in preparation for this inaugural deployment and we’re looking forward to Fort Worth building on the successes and lessons learned from Freedom’s deployment last year,” Floyd said.

The Freedom was the first LCS to deploy to Southeast Asia. Lessons learned about procedures and maintenance issues aboard the Freedom will be applied when the Fort Worth departs, according to the Navy.

An LCS is a fast and maneuverable vessel designed for fighting in coastal waters. The new type of ship can be outfitted for various missions.

The Navy said the Fort Worth will employ its surface-warfare mission package for the entire deployment, with two 30-millimeter guns, two 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats and two eight-member maritime security boarding teams.

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