USS Coronado departs from San Diego to western Pacific for exercise

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The littoral combat ship USS Coronado deployed from San Diego Wednesday for an exercise and in the to the western Pacific Ocean.

The deployment is the first for the Coronado, which was commissioned two years ago.

Coronado and its crew of about 70 sailors will participate in the multi-nation Rim of the Pacific exercise, known as RIMPAC.

"This ship will play a critical role in the fleet and in our nation’s defense,” said Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, U.S. Third Fleet commander. "RIMPAC provides a good opportunity for our partner navies to work with the ship and see how it can contribute to collective regional security.”

Littoral combat ships are fast, agile vessels designed for operating in coastal waters. Their development was plagued by mechanical breakdowns that
continued in initial deployments, and Navy leaders are considering ways to make them sturdier and more lethal, according to news reports.

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, based at Naval Air Station North Island, will deploy with the ship with the MQ-8 Fire Scout drone helicopter.

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