SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy's experimental Littoral Surface Craft, Sea Fighter (FSF 1), arrived Aug. 1 at Broadway Pier in San Diego, its new homeport.
The Fast Sea Frame is a high-speed, aluminum catamaran that will allow the Navy to operate more effectively in littoral waters. This test-platform is designed to assess a variety of new technologies which, according to Vice Adm. Terrace T. Etnyre, commander, Naval Surface Forces, is just a beginning.
"Sea Fighter will not only transform technology, it will be a major driver in the way we train our people, as well," he said.
Sea Fighter is manned with a joint Navy and Coast Guard crew of only 26 personnel, but the ship will be just as capable as the Navy's current warfighting machines, which have crews of more than 200, said Rep. Duncan Hunter, San Diego congressman and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
"This ship has a hundred times the firepower of a battleship, if you load it up with cruise missiles," he said.
Duties aboard Sea Fighter are interchangeable, with a flexible crew and the ship's mission modules, which provide for various potential missions, including battle force protection, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious assault support and humanitarian support.
The variety of missions offers crew members many opportunities for professional growth.
"The captain said that he will not stop anyone from qualifying for any job, no matter what rank," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Jerry Hatfield. "I am on all the sea details and all the deck details. I operate all the deck equipment just like all the boatswain's mates. I am gaining a ton of experience that I couldn't get anywhere else."
Sea Fighter has plenty to look forward to in the future, said Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Bryan.
Sea Fighter will be pierside while some new installations are made, but will continue with training operations off the coast of San Diego.
For related news from around the fleet, visit www.navy.mil.