The USS Freerdom, the Navy’s first littoral fight ship, was decommissioned in San Diego, changing into the second LCS the ocean service has jettisoned.
Commissioned in 2008, the Freedom was the primary of 4 check and coaching vessels for the littoral fight ship program, the others being the Independence, Fort Price and Coronado. It was second Navy ship to bear the Freedom title,
“As we bid farewell to Freedom, her crew consists of very good, extremely educated, deeply dedicated sailors who’re devoted to mission accomplishment, protection of the nation, and protection of our households,” Freedom’s commanding officer Capt. Larry Repass stated, in line with a Navy information launch. “In them, the spirit of Freedom lives on.”
A small ceremony was held at Naval Base San Diego Sept. 29 with ship plankowners and former crew members, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. These current on the ceremony included retired Rear Adm. Donald Gabrielson, who beforehand was the commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Southern Command/Commander, U.S. 4th Fleet and commanding officer of Freedom’s commissioning crew.
“I’ve by no means in my life seen or served alongside a extra succesful, devoted, devoted, proficient and galvanizing group of individuals than the sailors I served alongside with LCS and what I’ve watched day-after-day since,” Gabrielson stated, in line with the discharge. “As we acknowledge this bittersweet second, I hope we’ll all keep in mind that this ship was a automobile to be taught and innovate by doing and to make actual progress in a brief period of time, and that doesn’t occur with different ship ideas.”
Navy leaders have beforehand stated that due to the prices related to working these older littoral fight ships and their limitations, the juice isn’t definitely worth the squeeze.
Then-Rear Adm. Randy Crites, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for price range on the time, advised reporters in February 2020 that the primary 4 variations of the littoral fight ship wanted main, costly upgrades, and it was higher for them to be decommissioned.
“These 4 check ships had been instrumental to wringing out the crewing, the upkeep and all the opposite issues we would have liked to be taught from them,” Crites stated. “However they’re not configured like the opposite LCSs within the fleet, and so they want important upgrades. All the pieces from fight [systems], to structural, you title it. They’re costly to improve.”
The Navy decommissioned the Independence in July, and the service stated decommissioning the ships “helps department-wide enterprise course of reform initiatives to unlock time, assets, and manpower in help of elevated lethality.”
The Freedom wrapped up its ultimate deployment, to U.S. third and 4th fleets, April 1. It supported Joint Interagency Job Power South’s mission to battle illicit drug trafficking in each the Caribbean and the Jap Pacific. 9 officers and 41 enlisted sailors manned the vessel.
The Navy at the moment has 21 littoral fight ships in its fleet.