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LCS-3 Fort Worth

USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) was commissioned at the Port of Galveston in Galveston, Texas, 22 September 2013. The ship was officially placed in service by Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III. To the crew, this day marks the beginning. You have already set the ships personality and character, and we anxiously await your arrival into the fleet for there is much to be done, said Ferguson. Our expectations for you and the ship are high. The ship arrives at a time when nearly half of our ships in the U.S. Navy are underway on any given day and we are faced with increasing challenges around the globe. We will be a stronger Navy as Fort Worth takes her place among the ships of the line. The ship's two commanding officers, Cmdr. Randy Blankenship, blue crew, and Cmdr. Warren Cupps, gold crew, took command, set the first watch, and raised the ensign. An LCS manning structure requires rotating crews.

The USS FORT WORTH continued the practice of naming LCS vessels after American midsized cities, small towns and communities. For more than 150 years, Fort Worth citizens have supported the Navy and all men and women in uniform via ranger outposts, training facilities, aviation depots, and defense manufacturing.

On July 11th, 2009 a Lockheed Martin-led industry team held a keel-laying ceremony at Marinette Marine's shipyard today for Fort Worth, the U.S. Navy's third Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The LCS is an agile warship designed to operate in the world's coastal waters and provide the Navy with fast, maneuverable and shallow-draft ships aimed at maximizing mission flexibility. In March 2009, the Navy awarded the Lockheed Martin team a fixed price incentive fee contract to construct Fort Worth, which was to be delivered in 2012. The team's first LCS, USS Freedom, was commissioned in Milwaukee by the Navy in November 2008.

"It's a great honor to serve as the sponsor of the Fort Worth," said Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-12-Texas), the ship's sponsor, whose congressional district encompasses the city of Fort Worth. "The keel laying ceremony today is also a great tribute to the tireless efforts by the city of Fort Worth and all those who believed this day would happen. The thousands of letters that were written and the drawings that were done embody the spirit of making this dream a reality. The keel is the backbone of the ship, and the city of Fort Worth has long been a "backbone" of support for our American Military forces."

Navy Capt. James Murdoch, Littoral Combat Ship program manager, Program Executive Office -Ships, congratulated Marinette Marine for the "fabulous job" it has done for the nation, the Navy and Lockheed Martin. He observed, "With USS Freedom, Marinette Marine delivered a fine capability to the Navy, and I look forward to Fort Worth with great anticipation."

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox, ship builders Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, and Bollinger Shipyards, as well as domestic and international teammates.

In Navy ships, the keel refers to a structural element, or in the case of Fort Worth, a structural block. The keel is generally the first part of a ship's hull to be constructed, and laying the keel, is often marked with a ceremonial event. Modern warships are now largely built in a series of pre-fabricated, complete hull sections rather than being built around a single keel, so the actual start of the shipbuilding process is now considered to be when the first sheet of steel is cut. The term, lay the keel, in shipbuilding language, means the beginning of a significant undertaking, which is the start of the module erection process that reflects the ship coming to life. During the keel-laying ceremony, Cong. Granger authenticated the keel, assisted by Capt. Murdoch and 36-year veteran Marinette Marine welder Jim Renner.

In September 2010 the Lockheed Martin-led industry team reached the 60-percent completion mark in the construction of the nation's third Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). LCS 3 Fort Worth remained on schedule and on cost under a fixed-price contract awarded in March 2009. Fort Worth, built by Marinette Marine Corporation in Wisconsin, was to be launched on December 4, 2010. Additionally, all of Fort Worth's major equipment had been installed and 100 percent of its modules were under construction.

USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) arrived in Singapore 29 December 2014 as part of a 16-month rotational deployment to 7th Fleet in support of the Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance. As part of an initiative to deploy up to four LCS to the region on a rotational basis, Fort Worth will operate out of Singapore as a maintenance and logistics hub from which the ship will conduct patrols and train with regional navies during exercises like Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training. "The much-anticipated arrival of Fort Worth speaks to our important partnership with the Republic of Singapore Navy and to our shared commitment to regional security and stability," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and commander, U.S. 7th Fleet's Task Force 73. "As multiple LCS deployments become routine, ships like Fort Worth will become workhorses in 7th Fleet."

Fort Worth is the first LCS to deploy under the "3-2-1" manning concept, swapping fully trained crews roughly every four months. This concept allows Fort Worth to deploy six months longer than the 2013 USS Freedom (LCS 1) deployment and twice as long as typical U.S. Navy ship deployments, extending LCS forward presence and reducing crew fatigue for the entire 16-month deployment. It is named 3-2-1 because three rotational crews will support two LCS ships and maintain one deployed ship.

"Fort Worth's arrival marks the dawn of a continuous LCS presence in the Asia-Pacific, bringing more flexibility and capability to U.S. 7th Fleet," said Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7. "The next 15-months will be busy for Fort Worth and she will operate extensively throughout Southeast Asia in support of CARAT 2015, as well as expanding her operational footprint to Northeast Asia."

In addition to presence in nearly every phase of CARAT 2015 in South and Southeast Asia, Fort Worth will train with the Republic of Korea Navy in exercise Foal Eagle and is scheduled to join multinational ships at Singapore's Changi Naval Base for the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX). Fort Worth will also expand LCS regional presence by using additional expeditionary maintenance locations in Northeast Asia. Fort Worth is embarked with an aviation detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, the Navy's first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron. The detachment consists of one MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and one MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system. The Fire Scout will complement the MH-60R by extending the HSM-35's range and endurance thereby enhancing maritime domain awareness.

LCS Crew 103 Rough Riders successfully completed the second quarter of the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth's (LCS 3) maiden deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific following a crew swap with LCS Crew 102 Gold Crew 26 May 2015.

The turnover is Fort Worth's second crew swap and marked the halfway point of the ship's 16-month rotational deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet. "Crew 103 and the aviation detachment and mission package Sailors should be proud of the work they've accomplished over the past four months," said Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7. "Simply put, their efforts have expanded the operational potential of LCS in the region, and we're looking forward to building on this success with Crew 102."

Crew 103 was joined on deployment by the "All Stars" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, Detachment 2, and the "Badgers" of Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package, Detachment 1.

Fort Worth hit a number of deployment milestones since departing Singapore in February following the first crew swap. The ship participated in exercise Foal Eagle 2015 with the Republic of Korea Navy, marking the first time an LCS had participated in that exercise, as well as the first time an LCS had operated in Northeast Asia.

Following Foal Eagle, an expeditionary maintenance availability took place in Sasebo, Japan, which proved to be a successful test of the ship's maintenance flexibility that will expand the operational reach of future LCSs deployed to U.S. 7th Fleet.

Upon the ship's return to Southeast Asia, Fort Worth played an integral part in the sixth annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) Vietnam, a five-day visit to Vietnam that included an all-hands call by the Secretary of the Navy and concluded with a one-day underway with the Vietnam People's Navy.

Crew 103's final major event was Singapore's International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX), where Fort Worth operated with a number of regional navies in port and at sea. All of these exercises and events underscore Fort Worth's growing contribution to 7th Fleet.

The US Fort Worth littoral combat ship (LCS 3) was sidelined in port in Singapore 22 January 2016 due to damage to gears that propel the ship. The ship was built by Lockheed Martin Corp. It had damage to combining gears that let the ship run on a mix of diesel and gas turbine engines. According to the initial indications, the gear damage "appears to be caused by a failure to follow established procedures during maintenance." The incident took place on January 12 when the ship was in Singapore. It would remain in Singapore while it undergoes "a series of inspections to determine the extent of necessary repairs," according to Lieutenant Commander Matt Knight, a spokesman for the Navys Pacific Fleet.

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Page last modified: 21-02-2016 20:14:38 ZULU