Posts Tagged ‘LCS 1’

USS Freedom (LCS 1) Showcases Capabilities in Boston

December 14, 2008
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The new littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) sailed into the Charlestown Navy Yard Dec. 5 ready to show Boston the future of the Navy.

Freedom is the first of two littoral combat ships of her type completed. Her sister ship, USS Independence (LCS 2) was christened Oct. 4, in Mobile, Ala.

LCS is a vital component of the cooperative strategy for 21st century sea power. This maritime strategy states that preventing wars is as important as winning them and calls upon the Navy to project presence and power in littoral areas.

Freedom re-entered American waterways after her recent port visit in Halifax, Nova Scotia Dec. 4, bringing the ship’s transit through the Saint Lawrence Seaway in Canada to an end as she continues her journey to Norfolk.

The path Freedom took through Canada was a first for many Sailors aboard including Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class (SW) Dennis Whitley.

“It was nice to see how our neighboring country Canada lives,” Whitley said. “Even though it was cold, Québec City was cool to visit because you get to experience the French lifestyle of living.”

As Freedom made her way through Massachusetts Bay into Boston Harbor, Chief Damage Controlman (SW/FMF) Craig Cole, an Essex, Mass. native, pointed out various landmarks to the crew while on the flight deck.

“I saw a lot of ships pull into this harbor when I was assigned to the Constitution,” Cole said. “I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to be able to sail into Boston myself one day aboard a modern Navy vessel.”

Once Freedom reached her docking destination, she set anchor and moored behind USS Constitution. The Navy’s oldest commissioned ship shared a pier with the Navy’s newest.

The ship will be open to the public during her visit in Boston with crew members showing off the ship’s nautical and airborne capabilities.

K.R. Hendrix (NNS)

Massachussetts Declares Freedom Week

December 12, 2008
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The governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts proclaimed Dec. 2-5 USS Freedom Week in honor of the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) and the U.S. Navy for its dedication to the ideals of democracy and the preservation liberty for all.

Upon Freedom’s morning arrival to Charlestown Navy Ship Yard in Boston Dec. 5, where she moored behind USS Constitution, the Boston Fire Department Commissioner Roderick J. Fraser Jr. presented the proclamation to Freedom’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Don Gaberielson, in the pilot house during a tour of the ship’s spaces.

“Being parked here next to USS Constitution for me is a really special moment because I have really strong feelings about our tradition and our legacy in the Navy,” Gaberielson said.

The following day Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Dustin Foster from USS Constitution participated in the presentation of colors with Chief Quartermaster (SW) Stephanie Kotatis, as canons firing from the Constitution sounded morning colors.

“Today’s colors was a celebration of Navy heritage with the oldest commissioned warship doing colors aboard the newest commissioned combat ship,” Foster said. “This a real honor for me to come on board Freedom today and conduct colors with the crew here.”

“It was very interesting to hear a canon go off,” Kotatis said. “I sort of wish now my first duty station when I joined the Navy was aboard the Constitution because you seem to learn more about the culture, history and traditions of the Navy.”

More than half the crew attended colors on the flight deck to witness the traditional routine carried out with a mix of the old and the new.

“It was nice to be on board the ship today, and I’ve been really excited to see what it’s like to be aboard this new ship,” Foster said. “I already know what is like to be aboard an old ship in the Navy.”

Ken Hendrix (NNS)

Littoral Combat Ship USS Freedom Commissioned in Milwaukee

November 13, 2008
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The crew of USS Freedom (LCS 1) ushered in a new era in naval warfare, Nov. 8 as the ship was brought to life at Milwaukee’s Veterans Park before a crowd of nearly 10,000.

The ship was officially placed in commission by Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, who remarked the Navy was commissioning not just Freedom but a new class of naval war ships.

“In this platform we are making the right investments in our future security and in our prosperity,” Winter said. “For those of you who will have the privilege of serving in Freedom you will play a leading role in protecting our nation’s interest and in ensuring stability of the global economy. You will also be called upon to serve in a ship whose namesake defines the very aspirations of the American people and of people the world over.”

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, said Freedom will never have a more important crew than its first one, for they are the ones that set the tone and standards that will endure.

Freedom also represents a new concept in how and where the Navy is going to operate in executing the Maritime Strategy.

“USS Freedom will sail as an instrument of that strategy. Hers will be the march of the mind, with the spear and the shield, she will proclaim and insure the freedom of the seas and the freedom of the nation,” Roughead said.

Freedom is an innovative combatant designed to operate quickly in shallow water environments to counter challenging threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft.

Following the Secretary’s commissioning, the ship’s two commanding officers, Cmdr. Donald Gabrielson, Blue Crew and Cmdr. Michael Doran, Gold Crew, took command, set the first watch and raised the ensign.

The first ensign flown over the ship had previously been flown over Baghdad. After its ceremonial unfurling, it was hauled down and presented to the ship’s sponsor, Birgit Smith, in honor of her late husband’s sacrifice in defense of freedom. Smith is the wife of Army Sgt. First Class Paul Smith, who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Clutching the American flag and flanked by the ship’s two commanding officers and two senior enlisted leaders, Smith tearfully gave the order to the crew of Freedom, “man our ship and bring her to life.”

For the crew, the commissioning was the culmination of three years of hard work.

“It is great to be part of a first of class new ship that is outfitted with 21st century technology,” said Mineman 1st Class (SW) Jeff Steele, who has been with the crew since July 2006. “We have worked long and hard for this day and to bring her to life and go out and operate.”

A fast, agile, and high-technology surface combatant, Freedom will act as a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles.

Its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis.

The LCS will be able to swap out mission packages adapting as the tactical situation demands. These ships will also feature advanced networking capability to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and joint units.

Freedom is the first of two LCS sea frames being produced. Freedom will be manned by one of two rotational crews, blue and gold, similar to the rotational crews assigned to Trident submarines. The crews will be augmented by one of three mission package crews during focused mission assignments.

The 378-foot Freedom was constructed at Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisc., and was the first naval vessel to be built and commissioned on the Great Lakes since World War II. She will be home ported at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., as part of the Pacific Fleet.

Rhonda Burke (NNS)

First Littoral Combat Ship To Be Commissioned Nov. 8

August 21, 2008

The Navy’s newest ship, the future USS Freedom (LCS 1), will be commissioned Nov. 8 at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Milwaukee.

The commissioning date set by Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, was announced by the commissioning committee Aug. 18 in Milwaukee.

“This is a huge milestone, another milestone in the life of USS Freedom,” said Cmdr. Michael Doran, prospective commanding officer of Freedom’s Gold Crew. “It was a mere 64 months ago that Freedom was a proposal on a piece of paper and here we are announcing the date for its commissioning.”

The littoral combat ship was designed to provide the U.S. Navy with greater flexibility and capability in operating in the littoral or “green water” coastal areas. The 377-foot Freedom is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. The ship will act as a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles. Its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis.

“It brings to the fleet a lot of flexibility,” Doran said. “The ship was built with a specific goal and purpose in mind – to operate in shallow waters. It also has the flexibility, as 40 percent of it is large, reconfigurable space so that you can put the specific mission packages into it.”

Freedom will be manned by one of two rotational crews, blue and gold, similar to the rotational crews assigned to Trident submarines. The crews will be augmented by one of three mission package crews during focused mission assignments.

Of the many new systems being used on Freedom is a highly automated engineering plant and water jet propulsion, both of which give the ship new capabilities.

Freedom was christened Sept. 24, 2006, in Marinette, Wis. LCS 1 is being built at Marinette Marine Corp. by Lockheed Martin.

Following commissioning Nov. 8, she will sail to Norfolk, for operational testing and then to her homeport of San Diego.

The second ship of the class, Independence, is being built at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala., by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.

Rhonda Burke (NNS)

LCS-1 Freedom Underway for Trials

August 10, 2008

The first of the Navy’s littoral combat ships, LCS-1 Freedom, got underway for builder trials on Lake Michigan on July 28. Builder trials test the ship’s propulsion, communications, navigation and mission systems.

The LCS is designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

“LCS is a transformational program. It provides the first capability we’ve had to really be able to perform in littoral regions the way we believe we’re going to need to over the next many years given all the challenges that we see worldwide in littoral regions,” said Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter.

He went on to add that he wanted to make the visit to get a better feel of how the ship is coming along and make a statement of how important he thinks this program is. After the completion of builder trials, the Freedom crew will begin preparing for acceptance trials.

Littoral Combat Ship USS Freedom Begins Builder’s Trials

July 31, 2008

The first ship in the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship class, the future USS Freedom (LCS 1), began Builder’s Trials on Lake Michigan July 28.

LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission ship designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The 378-foot Freedom is being designed and built by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team.

“Getting Freedom underway is a significant step in the ship’s steady progress toward entering the fleet,” said LCS Program Manager Capt. James Murdoch. “Freedom has overcome many challenges to reach this important milestone. LCS 1 will add tremendous capabilities to the fleet for our Sailors.”

Builder’s trials test the vessel’s propulsion, communications, navigation and mission systems, as well as all related support systems. Following the completion of builder’s trials, Freedom will return to Marinette Marine to prepare for acceptance trials that will be conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

The LCS 1 Freedom class consists of two different hullforms – a semiplaning monohull and an aluminum trimaran – designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. These mission packages focus on three mission areas: mine counter measures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

LCS 1 is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy later this year and will be homeported in San Diego.