USS Freedom Reaches Major Milestone Towards Maiden Deployment

Discussion in 'Military Forum' started by Metallic, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom Reaches Major Milestone Towards Maiden Deployment
    UNITED STATES - 6 DECEMBER 2009

    NORFOLK, Va. -- The U.S. Navy's first littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Freedom (LCS 1), has successfully completed another major milestone in preparation for her upcoming maiden deployment.

    Freedom conducted independent ship deployment training and certification at sea from Nov. 13-21, operating with ships from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group during their Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the southeastern coast of the United States.

    Freedom conducted effective complex training as part of the Maritime Security Surge certification for the ship's Gold Crew, which will deploy aboard Freedom in early 2010 to U.S. Southern Command.

    "USS Freedom superbly satisfied our operational expectations," said Vice Adm. Mel Williams Jr., commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, responsible for certifying deploying strike groups and independent deployers. "I am confident that the ship and crew will meet the combatant commander's needs on deployment."

    Freedom's path to deployment has been unique and challenging. As with every lead ship of a class, the operational testing and validation of the ship's sensors and weapon systems is a complex and time-consuming series of events that are normally conducted sequentially over an extended time period.

    The Navy expects to learn key operational lessons about Freedom in a deployment setting and to integrate those lessons into the larger LCS fleet integration process. To achieve this goal, the Navy modified the typical workup schedule to accelerate Freedom's deployment by approximately two years. The Fleet Response Training Plan, used to evaluate a ship's operational capabilities as well as maintenance, testing and training, was modified to ensure effective training for this unique and highly capable ship with reduced manning and two crews.

    In a plan developed by Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet; Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Commander, Naval Surface Force, Atlantic; Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command; Commander, Strike Force Training (CSFTL) Atlantic; LCS Class Squadron (LCSRON); Afloat Training Group, Pacific; Naval Sea Systems Command; Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force; the Post-Delivery Maintenance and System Testing activities were interwoven with unit and integrated, advanced level training.

    In the past, test events were rigidly structured and scripted to validate system performance. As much as possible, these were modified to simultaneously fulfill operational training requirements with no compromise to performance standards.

    "Because of the LCS multi-crewing concept, two core crews needed to be trained and assessed aboard Freedom, and that added another new dimension to our standard surface ship training and certification plan," said Capt. Michael Taylor, commander, LCSRON. "During testing and much of the unit level training, both the 'on-hull' crew and some members of the 'off-hull' crew were on board, and that gave both crews a chance to gain experience and proficiency on Freedom's systems."

    During most of the Integrated/Advanced Phase Training and Assessment, only a single core crew and embarked detachments could be evaluated at one time across the range of military operations. The primary focus was on the Gold Crew, which will deploy with the ship for the first portion of the deployment.

    After avoiding heavy weather off the East Coast, Freedom departed Mayport, Fla., Nov. 13 with the Blue Crew and Cmdr. Kristy Doyle, the Blue Crew commanding officer. During the three days that followed, CSFTL assessors put the crew through an intensive series of underway scenarios designed to evaluate their ability to execute maritime security missions both as an independent unit and as part of a larger force.

    CSFTL presented Freedom with realistic missions in rapid succession to stress planning and decision-making. From self-defense against air and surface threats, to maritime interception operations, electronic warfare, common tactical picture management and datalink operations, the team performed well and met every challenge.

    Freedom returned to Naval Station Mayport for a "hot swap" between the Blue Crew and the Gold Crew. The Gold Crew Commanding Officer Cmdr. Randy Garner and his crew then headed back out to sea, this time for five days of integrated training. Despite not having been on the ship for several months, the Gold Crew quickly settled in and successfully completed its training regimen.

    "The opportunity to participate in COMPTUEX gave an unprecedented opportunity for my crew to operate with each of the components needed to bring Freedom to full operational capacity – mission module, aviation detachment and core crew," said Garner. "Never before had Freedom's Gold Crew operated with all of these elements at sea. The proficiency gained and the lessons learned were invaluable. I think we have another success to indicate that LCS will be a valuable asset to our operational fleet. We are looking forward to our deployment early next year."

    LCSs like Freedom are designed to handle mission sets that do not require the full breadth and depth of capabilities of a traditional surface combatant. Instead of the wide spectrum of combat capability inherent to those platforms, LCS embarks tailored mission packages (surface warfare, mine countermeasure, anti-submarine warfare or maritime security) and an aviation detachment to fulfill a specific mission set. The tailored packages allow LCS to fulfill several niche missions with a much smaller crew and at less cost than larger surface combatants. In addition, the shallower draft of the LCS allows it to operate in many areas where larger, deeper draft combatants cannot venture.

    Freedom will conduct additional system testing and training before it heads into its final Integrated/Advanced Phase training with the U.S. Coast Guard in January 2010. Freedom is scheduled to deploy to U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Pacific Command regions beginning in early 2010.

    MAYPORT, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2009) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) rests at her berth at Naval Station Mayport following independent ship training and certification.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 18, 2009) A visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) team from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) takes part in a maritime intercept operation exercise. Freedom is conducting independent ship training and certification for her upcoming maiden deployment.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 18, 2009) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) fires its MK-110 57 mm gun during a surface gunnery exercise (GUNEX). Freedom is conducting independent ship training and certification for her upcoming maiden deployment.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 17, 2009) Flight deck crewmen from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) secure a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 during a hot refueling evolution. Freedom is currently conducting independent ship training and certification for its upcoming maiden deployment.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 28, 2009) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) conducts flight deck certification with an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Sea Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22.
     
  2. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom Arrives In Mayport, Prepares For Maiden Deployment
    UNITED STATES - 30 JANUARY 2010

    MAYPORT, Fla. -- USS Freedom (LCS 1), the U.S. Navy's first littoral combat ship (LCS), arrived at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., Jan. 26 to begin final preparations for her maiden deployment.

    While in Mayport, Freedom will undergo final counterillicit trafficking and airborne use of force training and certification in preparation for expected missions in the U.S. Southern Command/Commander, U.S. 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

    Readying for this deployment was a unique process for Freedom's Sailors. Starting in November 2009, Freedom engaged in independent training and certification exercises off the Virginia and Florida coasts, including maritime security surge training for both the Blue and Gold Crews.

    After completing a Continuous Maintenance Availability at Colonna's Shipyard in Norfolk, Va., in mid-January 2010, Freedom got underway again for sea trials to verify the integration of the Surface Warfare Mission Package and aviation detachment with the core crew. Upon completion of a successful set of trials and onload of deployment ammunition, Freedom sailed south to Mayport to complete the final certification process and prepare for the mid-February 2010 deployment.

    "This deployment comes a full two years ahead of schedule," said Cmdr. Randy Garner, commanding officer of Freedom's Gold Crew. "We are ready and eager to get to sea, head south and show what Freedom and her crew are capable of doing."

    Freedom's deployment will be the first for the revolutionary LCS program, whose ships are designed to handle mission sets that do not require the full breadth and depth of capabilities of a traditional surface combatant.

    Instead of the wide spectrum of combat capability inherent to those platforms, an LCS will embark tailored mission packages (surface warfare, mine countermeasure, anti-submarine warfare or maritime security) and an aviation detachment to fulfill a specific mission set. These tailored packages allow the LCS to fulfill several niche missions with a much smaller crew and at less cost than larger surface combatants.

    Additionally, the shallower draft of the LCS allows it to operate in many areas where larger, deeper-draft combatants cannot venture.

    The Sailors of Freedom's Gold Crew, some of whom served aboard the ship before her commissioning, are eagerly anticipating her first operational deployment.

    "Absolutely – everyone's looking forward to this deployment," said Command Master Chief Anthony Decker, who will be embarking on his last shipboard deployment. "This is what these men and women get paid to do – not testing, not trials, but actually doing real-world missions."

    Freedom's deployment will conclude later this spring when she arrives in her new homeport of San Diego.
     
  3. xdrive

    xdrive SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,342
    Ratings:
    +0 / 1,358 / -0
    Country:
    Australia
    Location:
    Australia
    What i don't understand is why the ship is so big? It only has small armaments, so it should only have a small crew, but the ship is massive.
     
  4. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom Readies for Maiden Deployment
    UNITED STATES - 6 FEBRUARY 2010

    USS FREEDOM, At Sea -- USS Freedom (LCS 1), the Navy's first littoral combat ship, is underway off the coast of Florida for final training and certification prior to its maiden deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) region.

    Counter-illicit trafficking (CIT), damage control, and systems training began soon after Freedom's arrival at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on Jan. 25.

    "This training is extremely important for Freedom and will help us prepare for the CIT mission we expect to perform while in the 4th Fleet area of operations," said Lt. Cmdr. Mark West of Imperial Beach, Calif., operations officer for the Gold Crew, one of Freedom's two rotational crews. "Freedom can be an extremely formidable weapon in the war on drugs."

    Freedom's crew is part of an innovative manning construct that reduces crew size, demanding each Sailor maintain high levels of proficiency in multiple fields, and optimizes ship operability with multiple crews. The ship is manned by two rotational crews, "Blue" and "Gold", of 40 Sailors each. Prior to deployment, each crew member must prove his or her competency across a wide range of skills.

    Sailors attended counter-illicit trafficking/airborne use of force (CIT/AUF) instruction ashore, led by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Mayport, Destroyer Squadron 14 and Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 407. LEDET 407 will embark the ship during deployment.

    Freedom welcomed the Coast Guard detachment aboard for nearly three days of CIT/AUF exercises at sea. LEDET 407 worked with Freedom's core crew and its aviation detachment to certify the ship for CIT operations.

    "The Coast Guard was extremely professional and knowledgeable, and I look forward to working with them in the future," West said.

    While Coast Guard observers evaluated the aviation detachment – Norfolk, Va.-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 2 – in tracking go-fast boats, a Coast Guard coxswain was learning how to operate Freedom's 11-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs).

    "The Coast Guard does not operate our 11-meter RHIB, so this was important training for them as well," said Gold Crew navigator Lt. John Hill, a native of Auckland, New Zealand.

    The LEDET soon gave way to an integrated training team from the San Diego-based Littoral Combat Ship Class Squadron, which put Freedom's crew through its paces in a series of damage control and firefighting drills. The exercises tested the crew's response to a variety of shipboard emergencies, from a simulated helicopter crash landing to casualty triage.

    "The training provided a good refresher for us – it's a good opportunity to keep our skills up," said Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/FMF) Joseph Dennis of Bridgeport, Texas, the Gold Crew's independent duty corpsman (IDC). "As an IDC, exercises like this give me confidence in my crew's ability to operate in any emergency."

    Freedom's crew also engaged in combat systems testing, running through a series of live-fire and tracking tests using the ship's Mk 110 57mm gun, as well as the 30mm guns of the ship's tailored Surface Warfare Mission Package.

    While the testing schedule has been a rigorous one, Freedom's Sailors are confident that the ship will be ready for its upcoming journey.

    "I really believe the training provided will make our senior crew ready for the challenges ahead and pay dividends while Freedom is on deployment," said West.

    Freedom is the first ship of the revolutionary Littoral Combat Ship program, a fast, agile, mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval warfighting technology. The ship is specifically designed to defeat "anti-access" threats in shallow, coastal water regions, including fast surface craft, quiet diesel submarines, and mines.

    Freedom's deployment will conclude later this year with a transit to her new homeport of San Diego.
     
  5. Hutchroy

    Hutchroy FULL MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Messages:
    745
    Ratings:
    +0 / 345 / -0
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Could the USS Freedom, Classified as an LCS, be termed as a Highly Sophisticated Frigate?
     
  6. navtrek

    navtrek SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,530
    Ratings:
    +0 / 1,718 / -0
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    779db5d5a00bcb5f7472d5d4329f9e3d.jpg

    6dea4e19f373780d56170205be222ed2.jpg
     
  7. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    MAYPORT, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2010) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) enters Naval Station Mayport after completing final pre-deployment training and certification and transits past the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). USS Freedom is scheduled to deploy to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb. 4, 2010) A MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, lands on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during pre-deployment workups off the coast of Florida. USS Freedom is undergoing final crew training and certification before deploying to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb. 3, 2010) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) fires multiple rounds from its Mk 110 57mm gun during combat systems testing off the Florida coast. USS Freedom is undergoing final crew training and certification before deploying to the U.S. Southern Command area of focus.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 30, 2010) Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Jeffrey Ryback, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, cleans a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during pre-deployment workups off the Florida coast. USS Freedom is scheduled to deploy to the U.S. Southern Command area of focus.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 29, 2010) A rigid-hulled inflatable boat, from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), cuts through the water at sunset during pre-deployment workups off the Florida coast. USS Freedom is scheduled to deploy to the U.S. Southern Command area of focus.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 28, 2009) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) conducts flight deck certification with an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Sea Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22.
     
  8. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom (LCS 1) Departs for Maiden Deployment
    UNITED STATES - 16 FEBRUARY 2010

    MAYPORT, FL -- The nation’s first Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom (LCS 1), departed from Naval Station Mayport, FL, today for its maiden deployment, approximately two years ahead of schedule.

    The agile 378-foot USS Freedom, designed and built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team, will deploy to the Southern Command area of responsibility.

    “We congratulate the USS Freedom and her crew on their maiden deployment as this new class of Littoral Combat Ships begins to fulfill important global security missions,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Bob Stevens. “Her quality and proven performance enabled Freedom’s deployment two years ahead of schedule, a significant accomplishment in naval shipbuilding. As we compete to build additional ships for the U.S. Navy, the Lockheed Martin team remains focused on delivering an affordable surface combatant with the flexibility to provide security close to shore and on the open seas.”

    USS Freedom (LCS 1) is the first of 55 the Navy plans for a new class of ships designed to operate in coastal waters. The ship’s capabilities have been demonstrated since delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2008. Freedom has sailed more than 10,000 nm, successfully completed sea trials and demonstrated performance of combat, communications and other critical systems.


    Source: Lockheed Martin
     
  9. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    MAYPORT, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2010) Sailors aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) lower the Navy Jack from the jackstaff before the ship departs Naval Station Mayport for its first operational deployment. USS Freedom will conduct counter-illicit trafficking operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.



    MAYPORT, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2010) Sailors handle lines as the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs Naval Station Mayport for its first operational deployment. USS Freedom will conduct counter-illicit trafficking operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.



    MAYPORT, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2010) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs Naval Station Mayport on its maiden deployment to the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. USS Freedom is the first ship of the revolutionary Littoral Combat Ship program, a fast, agile, mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval warfighting technology.



    MAYPORT, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2010) A tug eases the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) out of her berth at Naval Station Mayport as she begins her maiden deployment. Freedom will participate in counter-illicit trafficking operations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.



    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb. 17, 2010) A rigid-hull inflatable boat carries Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during a training exercise. Freedom is conducting counter-illicit trafficking operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom Interrupts Drug Delivery in Western Caribbean
    UNITED STATES - 24 FEBRUARY 2010

    USS FREEDOM, At Sea -- The littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Freedom (LCS 1) achieved its first drug seizure Feb. 22 when it disrupted a high-speed "go-fast" vessel and recovered more than a quarter of a ton of cocaine.

    Freedom, with embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, an LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), was conducting counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations in U.S. 4th Fleet's Area of Responsibility when its crew located the vessel.

    A MH-60S Sea Hawk from HSC 22 responded quickly and coordinated with Freedom and air assets from Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) to provide location data on the surface target of interest.

    Following interception by the MH-60S, the vessel jettisoned its illicit cargo in the western Caribbean Sea. The "go-fast" subsequently entered Colombian waters, where the Colombian Navy took over the tracking and pursuit mission.

    A response team of Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from Freedom coordinated with a Colombian Navy patrol boat and Colombian patrol aircraft to retrieve seven bales and 72 kilos of cocaine from the water. The drugs were seized by the LEDET as evidence in preparation for possible criminal prosecution.

    The coordinated actions of the Navy, Coast Guard and JIATF-S with Colombian surface and aviation assets were instrumental to the successful interdiction of narcotics.

    "Our combined team of ship's crew, (LCS Surface Warfare) Mission Package, aviation detachment and Coast Guard LEDET showed great teamwork and resolve," said Cmdr. Randy Garner, Freedom's commanding officer.

    One of the unique features of the LCS is the flexibility and adaptability to configure from one warfare specialty to another – called "mission packages." Freedom currently is configured with its LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package, designed to combat small, fast-boat threats to the fleet.

    Freedom, which will be homeported in San Diego, is currently on its maiden deployment in the Caribbean and the coasts of Central and South America under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. Freedom is conducting CIT operations in support of JIATF-S, U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Coast Guard District 7.


    CARIBBEAN SEA (Feb. 22, 2010) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, embarked aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), hovers over the position of illicit drugs dumped overboard by the crew of a high-speed "go-fast" vessel. Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from Freedom, left, and Colombian navy sailors in a patrol boat search the area beneath the helicopter. Freedom's boarding team recovered 72 kilos of cocaine from the Caribbean Sea.



    CARIBBEAN SEA (Feb. 22, 2010) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, embarked aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), and Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from Freedom search for illicit drugs dumped overboard by the crew of a high-speed "go-fast" vessel. Freedom Sailors and Colombian navy sailors recovered 72 kilos of cocaine from the Caribbean Sea.



    CARIBBEAN SEA (Feb. 22, 2010) Seven bales of cocaine weighing 72 kilos are secured aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) after being recovered from the western Caribbean Sea. The narcotics were thrown overboard from a high-speed "go-fast" vessel before being stopped by the Columbian navy. A boarding team of Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from Freedom recovered more than a quarter of a ton of drugs from the water.
     
  11. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom Achieves Third Caribbean Drug Seizure
    UNITED STATES - 15 MARCH 2010

    USS FREEDOM, At Sea -- The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) achieved its third drug seizure March 11, disrupting a high-speed "go-fast" vessel and recovering 2 1/4 tons of cocaine during counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations in U.S. 4th Fleet's Area of Responsibility.

    While patrolling with embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, the Litorral Combat Ship Surface Warfare Mission Package and U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, Freedom detected a suspected drug vessel and began pursuit at high speed.

    Freedom deployed a response team of Sailors and Coast Guardsmen to intercept the vessel, which jettisoned its illicit cargo in the southern Caribbean Sea.

    An MH-60S Sea Hawk from Freedom forced the go-fast to beach itself. Local officials later confiscated the vessel.

    The Navy-Coast Guard response team recovered 72 bales of cocaine, weighing 2,127 kilos (4,680 pounds), from the water.

    Freedom's third successful drug interdiction was made possible by the coordinated actions of the Navy, U.S. Coast Guard District 7 and Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S).

    During its first two successful CIT seizures in the Caribbean, Feb. 22 and March 3, Freedom seized a total of one "go-fast" vessel, five suspects and more than 1,700 kilos of cocaine.

    USS Freedom, which will be homeported in San Diego, is currently on its maiden deployment in the Caribbean and the coasts of Central and South America under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. Freedom is conducting CIT operations in support of JIATF-S, U.S. Southern Command and Coast Guard District 7.

    CARIBBEAN SEA (March 10, 2010) A Sailor assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 works on an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1). Freedom is conducting counter-illicit trafficking operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.



    CARIBBEAN SEA (March 4, 2010) A boarding team of Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) transport bales of cocaine seized from a go-fast small boat in the southern Caribbean Sea. Freedom seized the vessel, five suspects and 1,506 kilos of cocaine during counter-illicit trafficking operations in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.



    CARIBBEAN SEA (March 4, 2010) Bales of cocaine are stacked in the airborne mission zone aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) after they were seized from a go-fast small boat. Freedom seized the vessel, five suspects and 1,506 kilos of cocaine during counter-illicit trafficking operations in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.
     
  12. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    Marinette Marine Facility Expansion to Enhance Lockheed Martin’s Littoral Combat Ship Program
    UNITED STATES - 15 MARCH 2010

    Marinette Marine Corporation, a member of the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) industry team, recently broke ground for an expansion to nearly double the size of its main indoor ship construction building – an investment to support the construction of the U.S. Navy’s LCS.

    The expansion will provide enough indoor space to simultaneously house two complete LCS hulls and parts for two additional ships. The building enhancements also allow greater use of Marinette Marine’s proven modular construction process, which will enable the Lockheed Martin team to construct LCS more cost effectively.

    The ground-breaking is the latest in a recent series of investments made by the shipyard’s parent company, Fincantieri, as part of its five-year, $100 million plan to modernize its U.S shipbuilding operations and support the LCS program. In 2009, Marinette Marine installed higher-capacity overhead cranes, plasma-cutting tables and pipe-bending machines to increase efficiency and capacity. In 2008, Lockheed Martin also became a minority partner in the shipyard, while continuing to share its project management and lean manufacturing techniques to meet the LCS program's cost and schedule goals.

    “This is a terrific investment by Fincantieri and represents the commitment they’re willing to make to continue quality shipbuilding at Marinette Marine,” said Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. “It’s an investment in the men and women employed there, in the community that is so supportive of this company, and in their ability to give the Navy a well-built LCS at a competitive price.”

    “This groundbreaking represents a significant milestone in the transformation of Marinette Marine to the premier mid-tier shipyard in the United States,” said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s chief executive officer. “The building expansion will allow us to fully complete a large ship such as LCS completely indoors at an even higher degree of completion and quality.”

    Marinette Marine constructed and launched the nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom. Commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 2008, USS Freedom was deployed two years ahead of schedule and recently completed three successful drug interdictions. The shipyard is also constructing the Navy’s third LCS, Fort Worth (LCS 3).

    “Fort Worth is on cost and on schedule, with 90 percent of its modules under construction and more than 30 percent of the ship complete,” said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Ship and Aviation Systems business. “The improvements underway at Marinette Marine increase the team’s capacity in meeting the U.S. Navy’s need for an affordable, survivable LCS. We’ve already seen a 30 percent reduction in labor cost from our first ship.”

    “With investments from Fincantieri and a strong partnership with the state, Marinette Marine continues to move forward as a world leader in high-quality ship building,” said Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. “The recent launch of the USS Freedom is a testament to the hard work and ingenuity of the Marinette Marine Corporation workforce. With this groundbreaking Marinette Marine will become even more competitive, and create more jobs in this community.”

    Designed to operate in littoral waters, the Lockheed Martin-led team’s LCS features semi-planing steel monohull that provides the Navy with a survivable, fast, and agile shallow-draft warship that maximizes mission flexibility and accessibility. With a proven open architecture networked, combat-management system common to other surface combatants in U.S. and international navies, the Lockheed Martin team’s LCS provides unprecedented levels of reliability and interoperability with global maritime forces.


    Source: Lockheed Martin Corporation
     
  13. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    U.S. Navy Combat Ship Earns High Marks on Maiden Voyage
    UNITED STATES - 22 MARCH 2010

    WASHINGTON --- A month into a maiden voyage that has seen a trio of drug-smuggling attempts thwarted, the commander aboard the Navy’s first littoral combat ship today described the vessel’s performance to date as “exceptional.”

    Now floating off the coast of Colombia, the USS Freedom received high marks from Navy Cmdr. Randy Gardner, who delivered an assessment to reporters today from aboard the ship via telephone.

    “The performance of the ship so far has been exceptional,” he said of the Freedom, which set sail Feb. 16 from Mayport, Fla. “We are learning a lot about what Freedom can do well.”

    Freedom and its crew grabbed headlines in recent weeks after interdicting three vessels transporting illicit drugs through the western Caribbean. Military officials say the ship’s speed, which at roughly 46 miles per hour is significantly faster than U.S. frigates that max out just below 30 miles per hour, is responsible for much of its counternarcotics success.

    In its most recent interdiction, the Freedom disrupted a high-speed ship known as a “go-fast” vessel and recovered more than 2 tons of cocaine that officials said was bound for the United States.

    After detecting the suspected drug vessel March 11, the Freedom launched a high-speed pursuit and deployed a separate team of sailors and Coast Guardsmen aboard rigid inflatable boats to intercept it. Smugglers aboard the fleeing vessel began dumping its cargo into the southern Caribbean Sea.

    The Navy-Coast Guard response team recovered 72 bales of cocaine weighing a total of 4,680 pounds from the water after being jettisoned from the vessel that was on a “stereotypical route” pursued by drug traffickers with U.S.-bound narcotics, Gardner said.

    During its first two successful drug seizures in the Caribbean -- on Feb. 22 and March 3 -- Freedom seized one “go-fast” vessel, five suspects and more than 3,700 pounds of cocaine.

    In addition to counternarcotics operations, the Freedom made its first shore leave in Cartagena, Colombia, Gardner said. The Freedom also played host to top defense officials from Colombia who toured the ship while it was docked in Cartagena.

    The Freedom, which is deploying about two and a half years before the first littoral combat ship was expected to be operational, is bound for Panama and Mexico before it’s set to return to its home port in San Diego in late April. After undergoing about a month of routine maintenance, the ship then will carry out operations in Canada, followed by an exercise in the Pacific Ocean, military officials said.

    The Freedom, along with the USS Independence, is at the vanguard of a Navy littoral combat ship fleet that is expected to grow to about 55 vessels by 2035, officials said.


    CARTAGENA, Colombia (March 19, 2010) Sailors man the rails as the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) approaches Cartagena, Colombia to begin a theater security cooperation port visit as part of operations in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.



    CARIBBEAN SEA (March 18, 2010) Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Nicholas Ellingson from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 signals for an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter to take off from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1). Freedom is conducting counter-illicit trafficking operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility.



    CARTAGENA, Colombia (March 19, 2010) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) passes a lighthouse while entering Cartagena to begin a theater security cooperation (TSC) port visit.



    CARIBBEAN SEA (March 12, 2010) Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) use a rigid-hull inflatable boat to retrieve bales of cocaine dumped overboard by a small boat intercepted by Freedom during counter-illicit trafficking operations in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility. Freedom recovered two tons of cocaine from the southern Caribbean Sea.
     
  14. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom Departs Cartagena After Successful Port Visit
    UNITED STATES - 24 MARCH 2010

    CARTAGENA, Colombia -- CARTAGENA, Colombia (NNS) – The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) wrapped up its first theater security cooperation (TSC) port visit in Cartagena on March 23.

    "We appreciate the hospitality and camaraderie of the Colombian people and our partners in the Colombian Navy," said Cmdr. Randy Garner, Freedom's commanding officer. "It was a privilege to visit Cartagena and to show Freedom to our Colombian friends. Cartagena is a beautiful city, and we enjoyed visiting."

    While in Cartagena, Freedom's Sailors donated their time and energy during a community relations (COMREL) project in the Villa Gloria region of Cartagena on March 20. Freedom crew members and Colombian Sailors and Marines helped paint Instituto Skinner, an elementary school, and presented two pallets of medical and hygiene materials donated by Project Handclasp.

    "The volunteers really enjoyed helping the local community," said Mineman 1st Class (SW) Jeffrey Steele, Freedom's COMREL coordinator. "The camaraderie between the schoolchildren, Freedom Sailors and the local Colombian Navy was a good bonding experience for all involved."

    Freedom also received a number of distinguished visitors in Cartagena, including the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, William Brownfield, and Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva. Both toured the ship March 20, as did Adm. Guillermo Barrera, Commander, Naval Forces Colombia.

    Freedom will make further TSC port visits in Panama and Mexico before concluding its deployment in its eventual homeport of San Diego.

    Currently, Freedom on its initial deployment to the Caribbean Sea and the coasts of Central and South America under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet.

    During the first part of its deployment, Freedom conducted CIT operations in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S), U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and U.S. Coast Guard District Seven.

    The first ship of the revolutionary LCS program, Freedom is a fast, agile, mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval technology.

    Embarked aboard Freedom are Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 2, based in Norfolk, Va.; the first tailored LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package (SUW MP), based in San Diego; and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET).


    CARTAGENA, Colombia (March 23, 2010) The U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) leaves the city of Cartagena following a four-day theater security cooperation port visit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  15. Metallic

    Metallic SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,645
    Ratings:
    +0 / 212 / -0
    USS Freedom to Enter 3rd Fleet
    UNITED STATES - 31 MARCH 2010

    SAN DIEGO -- USS Freedom (LCS 1) will reach its latest significant milestone when she enters the 3rd Fleet Area of Responsibility April 4.

    "We are excited to have USS Freedom join the 3rd Fleet team," said Commander, 3rd Fleet, Vice Adm. Richard Hunt. "The Littoral Combat Ship class provides a transformational capability to theater naval commanders which will enhance support for the war on terrorism, theater security cooperation (TSC) with partner nations, and emerging operational requirements."

    After entering 3rd Fleet, Freedom will conduct TSC engagements with partner nations, conduct routine training at sea, officially arrive in San Diego in late April, and then participate in the International Fleet Review in Canada commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy and the 22nd Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii, both being conducted this Summer.

    Prior to arriving, Freedom conducted counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations in the Caribbean Sea and off the coasts of Central and South America under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet.

    In less than three weeks of CIT operations in the Caribbean, Freedom made three drug seizures, recovering more than three tons of cocaine and capturing one vessel and five suspected drug smugglers.

    "During its deployment, USS Freedom has demonstrated that its class will become a key component of the 21st century Navy," said Hunt. "We look forward to employing Freedom to help us meet the challenges of operating in the littorals. The LCS-class brings unique capabilities, exponentially expanding the ability of 3rd Fleet and the Navy to execute the maritime strategy."

    Embarked aboard USS Freedom are Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Detachment 2, based in Norfolk; the first tailored LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package, based in San Diego; and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment.

    The first ship in the revolutionary littoral combat ship class, USS Freedom is a fast, agile, maneuverable, and networked surface modular ship designed to complement the Navy's larger multi-mission surface combatants in select mission areas, including combating submarines, mines, and fast-attack craft threats in the littorals.

    USS Freedom began its maiden deployment Feb. 16, more than two years ahead of schedule, and will complete the deployment when it arrives in its homeport of San Diego in late April.