USS Freedom to Conduct Maiden Deployment to the Asia-Pacific


Story Number: NNS130227-06Release Date: 2/27/2013 10:48:00 AM
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From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The U.S. Pacific Fleet announced today that the Navy's first littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) will depart her homeport of San Diego on March 1 and deploy to the Asia-Pacific region.

Making good on a pledge made initially by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the 2011 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Freedom will deploy to Southeast Asia and Singapore for approximately eight months. Marking the first of many planned rotational deployments to the Western Pacific for the new LCS platform, Freedom will conduct maritime security operations with regional partners and allies.

"Freedom's maiden deployment is another clear signal of the Navy's enduring commitment to maintain security and stability in the vital Asia-Pacific region," said Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. "Rotationally deploying our new littoral combat ships improves our warfighting capability and directly supports the Navy's rebalance strategy to the Asia-Pacific.

"Even in the face of potential budget cuts, there should be no doubt that the U.S. Pacific Fleet remains on watch and that we will continue to deploy our most capable units forward to operate with our allies and partners."

After making initial port visits in Hawaii and Guam, Freedom is expected to participate in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) in Singapore and in select phases of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series in Southeast Asia.

During the first-ever LCS deployment, Freedom will demonstrate her operational capabilities and allow the Navy to evaluate crew rotation and maintenance plans. Fast, agile, and mission-focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom will be initially manned by her "Gold" crew of 91 Sailors to include mission package personnel and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter.

"We are genuinely excited about our deployment," said Cmdr. Timothy Wilke, Freedom's Gold Crew commanding officer. "The men and women of Freedom have worked extremely hard to get us to where we are today, and I couldn't be prouder. We're ready to get out there, work with regional navies and show the world what this ship can do."

Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this rotational deployment to Southeast Asia. Midway through Freedom's deployment, a crew-swap will be conducted with her "Blue" crew, commanded by Cmdr. Patrick C. Thien.

For more from Pacific Fleet, visit www.cpf.navy.mil, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uspacificfleet or Twitter at www.twitter.com/uspacificfleet.

STORY COMMENTS1 COMMENT
2/27/2013 11:13:00 PM
Good evening ALL, This is Don Murdoch of Portland Oregon. As a former USNR D.E. Sailor 1955-1962 always on the U.S. Western Coast and Western Pacific, thank you ALL USS FREEDOM (LCS-1). I personally call the new LCS Ships of the 21st Century, the DEs of the 20th Century! The "small boys" could get "closer to shore!" Thank you for everything you are doing out there for ALL of us here at home as I recall my days as a Sailor how much mail from home is cherished! GO NAVY GO! Shipmate, Don

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RELATED PHOTOS
The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) is underway conducting sea trials off the coast of Southern California.
130222-N-DR144-174 PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 22, 2013) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) is underway conducting sea trials off the coast of Southern California. Freedom, the lead ship of the Freedom variant of LCS, is expected to deploy to Southeast Asia this spring. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James R. Evans/Released)
February 25, 2013
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