The Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Forth Worth (LCS-3) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in the second deployment of the LCS to the region, the Navy announced on Thursday.
The deployment for the 3,000-ton ship follows a similar 2013 7th Fleet deployment with USS Freedom (LCS-1).
“Fort Worth will expand LCS operations while in 7th Fleet, to include visiting more ports, engaging more regional navies during exercises like Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and expanding LCS capabilities,” read the Navy statement.
Along with an expansion of operations from the 2013 deployment, Fort Worth will be the first LCS to test the Navy’s so-called “3-2-1” deployment scheme. Three crews will each take a four month rotation on two ships, one deployed and one in port. The idea is to minimize crew fatigue and maximize the utility of a forward deployed ship. The service plans to have Fort Worth deployed for a total of 16 months.
The ship will operate from Singapore.
In another LCS first, the ship embarked with a detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 that will operate both a MH-60R Seahawk manned helicopter and a MQ-8B Fire Scout rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Fort Worth departed from homeport Naval Station San Diego, Calif on Nov. 17 and is due back in March 2016.