Two more Littoral Combat Ships will be homeported in San Diego once they are commissioned into the Navy next summer.
USS Detroit (LCS-7) and USS Montgomery (LCS-8) – a Freedom-variant and Independence-variant LCS, respectively – will join the West Coast fleet, where recent LCS activities have been focused. USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is still underway in the Pacific, where it is far surpassing its predecessor, USS Freedom (LCS-1), in terms of material readiness and availability to take on missions even beyond what the ship was designed for.
So far, the first four ships – Freedom, USS Independence (LCS-2), Fort Worth and USS Coronado (LCS-4) are homeported at San Diego. USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) and USS Jackson (LCS-6) were both recently commissioned and will join those ships in San Diego, though Milwaukee will arrive later than planned. Milwaukee was commissioned last month and was headed for Naval Station Mayport, Fla., when it experienced a failure in the propulsion system. The ship was towed to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia, and the ship may be in for repairs until February. Jackson commissioned Dec. 5
The Navy is rebalancing its fleet to support a national shift to the Asia-Pacific. By 2020, 60 percent of the Navy’s ships and aircraft will be in the Pacific Fleet – with an emphasis on the newest and most capable platforms, including the LCSs, the new big-deck amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6), and the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance plane.
“The U.S. Navy continually monitors force readiness and ability to provide the most robust, capable maritime force possible,” according to a Navy statement.
“Stationing the littoral combat ships in a West Coast port supports the rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, placing our most advanced capabilities and greater capacity in that vital theater.”