Home » Foreign Forces » Navy Tests ‘Littoral Combat Group’ Concept That Pairs DDG, LPD in South America Deployment


Navy Tests ‘Littoral Combat Group’ Concept That Pairs DDG, LPD in South America Deployment

Sailors man the rails aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) as the ship is underway off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile during a parade of ships, Dec. 2, 2018. Wayne E. Meyer is part of Littoral Combat Group One, which is deployed in support of the Enduring Promise Initiative to reaffirm U.S. Southern Command’s long standing commitment to the nations of the Western Hemisphere. US Navy photo.

The Navy deployed a new ship pairing – a destroyer (DDG-51) and an amphibious transport dock (LPD-17) – to test out a new concept that could supplement amphibious squadrons and surface action groups as a formation in future operations.

USS Somerset (LPD-25), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) and Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF)-Peru deployed together as Littoral Combat Group 1 in November and December.

While at sea, the operations the group conducted leveraged both ships’ bread and butter missions: supporting Marines and pushing them ashore, embarking a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, hosting a surgical team for humanitarian assistance work, and more. The two ships sailed to Valparaiso, Chile, for the Eleventh International Maritime and Naval Exhibition and Conference for Latin America (EXPONAVAL) and the 200th anniversary of the Chilean Navy. Also during the deployment, the 1,000 sailors and Marines from LCG-1 worked with the Peruvian Naval Infantry in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise in the disaster-prone Chorrillos district outside Lima, and conducted a maritime patrol exercise with Ecuadorian navy assets to counter illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, among other activities.

Sailors and Marines man the rails aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) as the ship is underway off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile during a parade of ships, Dec. 2, 2018. Somerset is part of Littoral Combat Group One. US Navy photo.

The goal of the LCG-1 deployment was to work out the command and control, which placed a Navy captain as the commodore of two ships and the SP-MAGTF, as is the case with the commodore of an amphibious squadron (PHIBRON) who oversees an Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit, or a destroyer squadron commander (DESRON) commanding a surface action group. Still, though the focus of the deployment was on command and control and not the actual missions that a DDG and an LPD could conduct together, it’s easy to see how the Littoral Combat Group could be useful higher up the range of military operations: the DDG firing missiles at an enemy defense system to allow the Marine forces to move ashore, the Marines using their MV-22B aircraft in support of the DDG’s maritime security missions at sea, and so on.

A Navy official told USNI News that Expeditionary Strike Group 3 was the lead on this experimental deployment and will present the command structure and lessons learned to higher headquarters for review. The ESG, which reports to U.S. 3rd Fleet and includes PHIBRON 3, helped organize the disparate ships, leaders and detachments in just three weeks, pulling staff from 28 different commands. LCG-1 was led by Capt. Ken Coleman, the PHIBRON 3 commodore, and included a staff of 30 to 35 on temporary assignment and embarked on Somerset.

Lt. Noel Aliceacintron, first lieutenant of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), speaks to military members from Chile, Peru and Brazil during a ship tour Nov. 14, 2018 in the Pacific Ocean. USS Somerset is part of Littoral Combat Group One (LCG-1), which is deployed in support of the Enduring Promise Initiative to reaffirm U.S. Southern Command’s longstanding commitment to the nations of the Western Hemisphere. US Navy photo.

“The deployment of LCG-1 was designed to test a command and control concept. Wayne E. Meyer and Somerset were scheduled to participate in EXPONAVAL based on their operational schedules at the time, and LCG-1 provided command and control of those assets under a single commander. The complementary capabilities (brought by the) assigned Navy and Marine Corps units will inform future force development, both in how we organize our naval forces and how we employ them,” 3rd Fleet told USNI News in a written statement.
“In addition to its participation in EXPONAVAL, LCG-1 conducted several partnership training missions while underway and ashore in the [U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.]”

LCG-1 reported directly to U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. 4th Fleet during the deployment, much like a PHIBRON would. Upon returning home – Somerset is homeported in San Diego and Wayne E. Meyer is now homeported in Pearl Harbor – the command disestablished. ESG-3 will take lessons learned from the deployment and make a proposal up the chain of command regarding how, if at all, this construct could be applied going forward, the Navy official said.

Cmdr. Jeffrey Chao, second from left, the Littoral Combat Group One (LCG-1) surgeon, performs an exploratory laparotomy as other medical team members assist aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), Dec. 7, 2018, while underway in the Pacific Ocean. US Navy photo.

The Navy and Marine Corps are revising their concepts to align with the National Defense Strategy that focuses on warfare against a peer or near-peer adversary. Whereas previous concepts relied on conventional carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups to sail into waters uncontested and conduct their operations, newer concepts coming out look at fleet-wide coordination of disaggregated forces that can oppose an adversary in blue-water operations or in the littorals. Both the Navy and Marine Corps are pursuing new anti-ship capabilities for submarines, surface ships and ground forces, and the two services are looking at new ways the Marines can support the battle for sea control from ashore in the same way the Navy can support forces on the ground from at sea. Two key concepts, Distributed Maritime Operations and Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment, are being fleshed out now and will inform upcoming acquisition and exercise efforts in the coming years.

  • Marcd30319

    Sound like a lite version of the old Expeditionary Strike Group concept.

  • IssacBabel

    The Navy should produce ships especially suited littoral warfare,
    notice none of the ships deployed had MCM capability.
    Maybe a Proceedings article by some bright Lt. on a notional
    littoral combat ship is in order.

    Anyone here want to come up with some ideas ?

    • Rocco

      You been hiding under a rock???

      • Ctrot

        Did you hide your sense of humor under a rock?

        • Rocco

          Yeah yours!! What was the humor?? The fact that he called for an LCS class when we already have them!!

          • PolicyWonk

            Rocco, what he’s saying is that the original poster was being sarcastic.

          • Rocco

            🙄

          • Ctrot

            Yep.

    • RobM1981

      Very nice…

    • PolicyWonk

      Maybe its time to resurrect the ONR’s 2001 “Street-fighter” concept, for a heavily armed surface combatant that was to be optimized, designed, and built to prevail in littoral combat operations…

      • Bryan

        Yep. The the Navy can get involved and turn it into…..????? Oh yeah the L…C…S…

        Bubububuild a frifirfirfirgaFRIGATE…

      • NavySubNuke

        What an amazing concept!
        Such a ship would of course be able to be produced cheaply and efficiently in large numbers. They wouldn’t even require a traditional Navy focused shipyard.
        Thanks to their small size and the ability to produce them at non-traditional shipyards we could have entire flotillas of them on deployment in no time at all!
        ** winks **

        • tiger

          Better yet, go to Germany. Write a check to Bloom and Voss and let a real company make a MEKO use Our weapons.

    • Bryan

      LOL!! But seriously when and if the MCM module comes about it can just be put on the very modular DDG. Go figure…

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    Can we guess what is missing from this “Littoral Combat Group”??

    • DaSaint

      Hmmm….
      I thought the same thing.
      One would think that maybe 2 LCS?
      And later substitute the FFG for the DDG.

      • Ziv Bnd

        This is probably a stupid question, but is there any way to do an underway replenishment from an LPD to an LCS? Say the LCS classes get the horrendous teething issues ironed out in 2 or 3 years. Deploy 2 Independence Class LCS’s with an LPD. One SuW, one MCM. Ok, maybe you need 3 to get the ASW capability in there….

    • NavySubNuke

      If only we had a ship that was supposedly specifically designed to conduct combat littorally. Such a ship, were one actually capable of deploying only a few hundred miles from it’s homeport without needing a tow back, would be an excellent addition!

  • tom dolan

    As a training exercise for a short term detachment of 3rd Fleet assets this might have utility but at the point they have to justify it by claiming they’re guarding against illegal fishing? Sssssss

    • USNVO

      The vast majority of the world’s navies are far more concerned with illegal fishing and other law enforcement activities than warfighting. So if you plan to operate with them, illegal fishing is a good place to start. I doubt the Ecuadorian Navy cares about strike warfare, air defense or amphibious assault.

  • sferrin

    They’ll want some Mk41s on those SAs for ATACMs and such. (Or whatever they’re calling it’s replacement these days. Some MLRS/SDB wouldn’t be bad either.)

  • Salvatore Mercogliano

    The Marines have to open their eyes and allow the deployment of one or two T-EPFs with this unit. They can serve as lillipads to extend out the reach and allow for the deployment a portion of the embarked Marines.

    The USMC is afraid that the use of civilian manned ships would jeopardize the finding for Gators. See my article in Naval History entitled Semper Sealift for a similar reaction when they stationed an MPS with an ARG in 1992.

    • PolicyWonk

      The LPD’s and other ships of the gator navy are at least built to the Level-2 standard, where the T-EPF’s aren’t.

      OTOH, for disaster relief, if a T-EPF were in the neighborhood, it would be a useful asset.

      • Bryan

        I think you hit the nail on the head. The EPF’s will have to be in the neighborhood. Their range is very low. They also are not all that great in the open ocean. I like the idea of making the LCG more adaptable and resilient to budget pressures by doing it cheaper. Adding a level 1 ship isn’t a bad way to do it.

        I suspect it would end up being a modified ESB/ESD ship with a flight deck/hangar above an enclosed hull on the bow and 1-2 boat/LCAC spots(1 port/1 starboard?) forward of the aft superstructure. It would add expense but nothing like another LPD.

      • Salvatore Mercogliano

        When is the last time a Gator has come under fire? Also, it appears that this mission is not a traditional ARG, but to provide a mini-ARG capability.

        On the flip side, during ODS when the 4th and 5th MEBs were afloat, it was commercial MPS and cargo ships that carried the AFOE and they were not up to Level-2 standard.

        Talking with masters of the T-EPF after the attack on the ex-HSV Swift, they stated that their ships are much better prepared and able to absorb damage than the Swift, which was then under UAE control.

        While T-EPFs have limitations due to sea state, they been able to deploy extensively and their range can be offset by UNREP. The one thing not stated in the article is how the ships were replenished. Will this require a dedicated T-AO or T-AKE?

        But to go back to my original point, the Marines have shunned the use of T-EPFs, which were built with them in mind. They can handle 100 Marines on board, or 300 for a few days; not to mention ability to refuel helos. They can sprint at twice the speed of an amphib and be able to get into ports that they can not enter.

        • PolicyWonk

          But to go back to my original point, the Marines have shunned the use of T-EPFs, which were built with them in mind.
          ==============================
          I wasn’t aware of this – have you got any pointers to any references (I’d like to know more about it). But I’m a bit surprised, given the USMC has been chronically short of amphibs for some time now.

          I had suggested on this (and other) forum(s), that a T-EPF would’ve been just the thing to park near the SCS, along with a fleet of Mark VI patrol boats, a few Sea Hawks, and a contingent of Vipers (in case of trouble), all painted in USCG colors. Then we spend our time conducting “maritime safety” drills and patrols, just to let the ChiComs know we aren’t going anywhere (and we’re interested).

          Cheers.

          • Salvatore Mercogliano

            I was on board one of the T-EPFs a few months ago and talked with the Master, who had sailed on earlier ones and stated the fact. I checked with several of the other Masters and they confirmed the fact.

            Just checking news sites, the only time you see T-EPFs with Marines embarked are usually in conjunction with a joint operation, such as Millinocket back in 2016 in the Philippines.

            The current Concept of Ops have the ships nearly all forward deployed and attaching them to an ARG or MPSRON could provide a great flexibility to those assets to deploy and move forces over a larger area an in spots where they cannot access.

  • These dock ships are suited to be deployed with LCS ships. Probably not in an area where it could be hostile fire but they can transport a meu and have several infantry people along with them in case they need protection.

    • Ctrot

      How about parking a Marine Abrams on the LCS flight deck to greatly increase it’s firepower?

      • Matthew Schilling

        You’re talking 70 tons of tank. A Mk 45 5″ gun weighs less than 25 tons.

      • PolicyWonk

        Might as well park a set of MLRS launchers on the deck – much longer range (you don’t want LCS within range of anything that can fight back – such as a SCUBA diver armed with a can opener).

      • Secundius

        HiMAR most likely, but NOT M1A1 Abrams! A Fully Loaded M1A1 Abrams, tips the scales in excess of 140,000-pounds. And the LCS’s Flight Deck is rated for the Maximum Take-Off Weight of the CH-53K, ~80,000-pounds…

      • Ed L

        Better yet, just mount a Turret of a Abrams Tank

      • tiger

        Tracks and decks don’t mix. Wheeled armor, Okay.

  • Secundius

    Considering the amount of Sea Time that most South American countries get, is usually in conjunction with a Blue Water Naval Force like the United States or Canada. It’s getting an education without having to go to war with their neighbors…

  • RobM1981

    It’s useful to practice as a mixed flotilla, now and again.

    In 1941 we presumed a lot of things, starting with “the main battle fleet sorties from Pearl, and…”

    In 1942 we found ourselves down in Sumatra, teaming with Australian and Dutch assets in dribs and drabs.

    You never know what’s going to happen.

    • Secundius

      As I recall, the Commanding Officer of that Mixed Navies Battle Group was Dutch, and later Killed while serving that Battle Group…

      • tiger

        Ah, the ABDA fleet. The NATO before NATO. Yep, worked real well.

        • Secundius

          It was the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor Attack, in 13 February 1942. Which consisted of ~26 American Ships, ~17 British Ships, ~11 Dutch Ships and ~5 Australian Ships, protecting the Entire Pacific Ocean. Of which 1 American and 2 British Ships were lost in the Battle against the Japanese. The Most Senior Naval Officer was Dutch Rear Admiral Conrad Helfrich…

          • tiger

            Actually until February of ’42. Adm. Hart of the Asiatic Fleet was senior. And While Helfrich was a okay sub guy. He was on shore when slaughter of the surface force occurred.

          • Secundius

            Up until the 12th of February 1942! On 13 February 1942, Rear Admiral Conrad Helfrich of the Royal Netherlands Navy took over command…

          • tiger

            Good change? Or did not matter? Based on results, seems the latter.

      • tiger

        Karl Doorman. Was lost when his flagship was sunk.

  • Ron Snyder

    Reply to this specific case Duane.

  • Ziv Bnd

    How many are deployed right now? They have been in commission for 8 years now, I think there are 13 of them commissioned, and none of them are deployed. And none of them have deployed with a long range strike capability for over a year and that was a makeshift test of possible future capability.

    The LCS has had huge teething issues and they haven’t gotten past them yet. Hopefully they will, but they aren’t there yet.
    On edit: There have been 8 in commission for between 3 and 10 years, and we haven’t got one deployed right now. Not one. 13 commissioned ships in two classes and we can’t get one to sail. Hopefully this is the year they deploy more reliably and the year they get long range strike for SuW variant.

    • PolicyWonk

      None are deployed now, and none deployed in 2018, thereby ensuring the “Littoral Combat Pier Queens” were delivering maximum value.

      But only to the recipients of that corporate welfare programs.

      • Ziv Bnd

        I may be overly optimistic but I think this may be the year the LCS program finally becomes useful. I have read that at least one and possibly two Indy’s will deploy this year and they may do so armed with the JSM for long range strike capability.

        The reliability issues were more with the Freedom variant so here is hoping that at least the Indy’s can fill a useful role relatively soon. One of them did get a Bravo Zulu from the USS Reagan a couple years ago, so stranger things have happened. We have spent too much money on them to settle for using them for drug interdiction in the Caribbean. The South China Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Straits of Malacca and anti-piracy off the Horn of Africa would seem to be reasonable places for them to function. And maybe Littoral Combat Group deployments with an LPD. Who knows?

        • PolicyWonk

          You are correct that LCS2 (I think) managed to not break down, and completed all of their assignments during a RIMPAC.

          The Independence class is by far the most innovative of the two classes, and has the added virtue of a less complex propulsion system (plus a very large flight deck).

          I, for one, hope you’re right. After blowing $36B, PEO USC (formerly LCS) should have *something* positive to point at that prevents this blatant corporate welfare program from becoming a total loss (LCS has been deemed “the program that broke naval acquisition” by the USN itself – which is hardly a glowing endorsement).

          But given the commercial grade design and construction, they are more like a souped-up variant of the “armed merchantman” of WW2, and as such should not be considered an SSC.

    • old guy

      You have to award the Navy with a citatioh of Persistence, Unbridled, (PU)

  • Ziv Bnd

    On a slightly different subject. Duane, do you have a link to any articles that show the EFFECTIVE range of the 57mm ALaMO rounds? I have heard that it is 8500 meters, but I can’t find any reliable written source that supports this. Ignore this question if it is classified. I know they have a longer max range, but how much of that range is guided effectively? If they could effectively aim those rounds out to 15 km., that would be impressive. Still not long range, but impressive nonetheless.

    • Secundius

      IF you’re basing the Projectiles Range by it’s “Effective Range”? Then the Mk.45’s 5-inch Gun is only ~24,100-meters. And the Mk.15 CIWS drops from ~4,400-meters to ~1,490-meters…

      • Ziv Bnd

        I have seen the Mk110 57mm gun rated for 8500 meters effective range and 17,000 meters maximum range, but I don’t think it can hit the broad side of a barn at anything over 10 kilometers. That is why I was saying I would be impressed if the new 57mm guided ALaMO rounds actually were effective/accurate out to 15 kilometers. But I was asking about the Mk110 not the Mk 45/5″. i think the 5″ gun would be a bit of overkill on an LCS. Interesting but probably not realistic.

        • Secundius

          But it probably could support the ~5-tonnes “Hawkeye” 105mm Autoloading Howitzer in 54-caliber, instead of the US Army’s 27-caliber. Mounted on the Rear of a HMMWV (“Humvee”)…

        • Chesapeakeguy

          The Zumwalt class ships now have Mk 46 30MM guns in place of the Mk110s that had been originally designed and programmed into them. The 57mm guns were deemed to be ineffective for what they were needed for. Let that sink in. They are tested and found to be completely wanting for one new class of ships, but acceptable for another. Seems like a scandal to me..

          Stand by as certain LCS advocates weigh in about why such changes were made..It’s always fun…

          • old guy

            But the DD 1000 will STILL capsize in a sharp maneuver, in high sea state. SEE, 1996 NSRDC turning basin data!

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I can only pray that never happens!

  • Bryan

    But you can hover to the right of the name and press the down arrow on the right. Then you can select Block user. turns them right off…. LOL.

    I haven’t seen a post by Duane and those that are just as zealous on the opposite side. Block them all. The LCS arguments are so boring. It’s settled science….LOL.

  • PolicyWonk

    To ensure that the investment in the LCS program is truly worthwhile, a new mission package (IMFCE – Inbound Missile/Fast Crew Evacuation) should be devised that contains transponders that make the LCS appear to be a carrier (along with drones containing fighter/attack jet transponders) on radar, mimic the sounds of a CVN (to spoof the sub-drivers), and has lifeboats that can be VERY quickly filled with crew and launched before the missiles arrive.

    Then it would look like the USA had dozens of carriers deployed, which would make targeting much harder. Once in-bound missiles are detected the crew evacuates, and the ship is remotely accelerated to flank speed to take it out of range.

    As long as the adversary in question doesn’t have real-time satellite imagery, we might’ve just found a use for the LCS fleets that might actually make the investment worthwhile.

    • William Sager

      Considering the proliferation of countries launching rockets into space, it might be wise to assume that a 3500 ton ship will observable to Satellites during all times except in bad weather. Don’t get me wrong, use of drones for many reasons is only going to increase. It’s time we require all combat ships be built with hybrid engines so as to make available increased power for both drones and lasers.

      • PolicyWonk

        Hybrid propulsion systems makes sense because they’re quieter, simpler, and generate a lot of power that can be used for directed energy weapons.

        But I am unclear on how that’ll help with drones, unless you’re referring to shooting them down.

  • Western

    Glad we are putting the LCS class to use. These humanitarian relief missions in Peru, Indonesia and other countries warm the heart, but do we have to be the doctors of the world? Can we hold the next humanitarian mission in San Francisco Bay (7,000 homeless residents), or Baltimore harbor (3,000 homeless), Miami (3,000 homeless) or New York (64,000 homeless). During the next Fleet Week celebrations, perhaps deploy fewer flags and more health care for our own people.

  • PolicyWonk

    Sir,

    You have ignored the other mission packages already in development/under consideration. For example:
    FSP – The Fleet Septic Pump – this vital mission module will provide septic pumping services for warfighting assets in port.
    HSA – The Homeless Shelter-Afloat mission module, to help retired/homeless vets who need shelter or a place to live in cities/towns near the coasts.
    FPD – The Fleet Pizza Delivery mission module – just the thing to keep morale high for the sailors of a CSG, or ESG, etc., and finally providing a viable/understandable justification for the 40-knot+ propulsion plant.

    • old guy

      I bow to your creativity.

    • tiger

      Lol…

  • TheFightingIrish

    “The deployment of LCG-1 was designed to test a command and control concept.”

    What’s so difficult or unique about the command and control of a DDG, an LPH, and few hundred Marines? And, since when have two ships ever been considered a group? Normally this would be called a task force.

    The Navy and Marines have been operating MEU’s for over 40 years. Unless we were testing new techniques or equipment (which doesn’t seem to be the case), everything we’ve learned about the command and control of an MEU is applicable.

  • Ed L

    What is so new about a DDG and an LPD working together. That has been happening for decades. In Fact as far back as WW2 Destroyers/ DE’s Cruisers etc. have been working with Amphibous groups

    • Rocco

      Not to mention BB’s agreed!

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      LOL, I thought the same thing. Like those old Guinness commercials…BRILLIANT! SAIL TWO SHIPS TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME, ABSOLUTELY REVOLUTIONARY! And if one of them runs out of some stuff, they can ask the other guys for help! Brilliant!

    • PolicyWonk

      Methinks the only “new” part of any of this is calling it “littoral combat”, as opposed to “LPD and DDG conduct joint training operations”…

  • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

    LtCmdr McHale.

    • Rocco

      Lol!! Yes no scrambled eggs!

      • Secundius

        I think Quinton McHale was promoted to Commander in the TV Movie “McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force”, when Ensign Parker became President Parker at the end of the movie…

        • Rocco

          Oh yeah lol!! The 2 stooges of the Navy!! I think Duane had a part of it?🤔

  • Secundius

    And the 37mm Gun lashed to the Deck of PT-109 WASN’T an Anti-Tank Gun “Hollywoodized” in “PT-109”! It’s ~913-pounds weight would have crashed through the Weather Deck and out through the Keel. Instead of the Heavy Machine Gun Tripod mounted M4 37mm gun weight of ~215-pounds…

    • William Sager

      Regardless it wasn’t the type of gun on PT-109’s deck that did it in. Rather the fact that Japanese were just more alert and spotted the 109 and rammed it without a single shot being fired.

      • Secundius

        As I recall the Japanese had better Night Optics than the United States had. Which wasn’t any better then their (i.e. the USN) Day Optics (i.e. Binoculars)…

        • old guy

          I used to have a Japanese made ZEISS night vision monocular.

      • tiger

        Not much has changed. All the tech in the world and folks are ramming ships.

    • tiger

      That is what they pay tech advisors for on films. The prop guy was told 37mm cannon. Likely, had no idea about the P-39 gun.

      • Secundius

        Either that, or it never got mentioned. Even in the movie “PT-109”, LtJG John F. Kennedy mentioned that he acquired a 37mm gun from the Army. I suspect when the Movie was made, someone in the Prop Department was unaware that in WWII, the Air Force was part of the Army. And never bothered to ask anyone about the Gun used, and took it for granted they talking about the Anti-Gun…

  • gonavy81

    Oh, the irony. Maybe I missed it in skimming the article but did not see Littoral Combat Ship mention in context of the Littoral Combat Group.

    • Secundius

      Comments made on “USNI News” have a habit of segwaying into topics that have absolutely nothing to do with the Subject Article…

      • Ron Snyder

        As opposed to the regular practice on other blogs?

        • Secundius

          At least on those sights, you can leave Information Web Addresses that can be looked up. For some obscure reason only knownst to “USNI News”, they Redact those comments within seconds of posting them…

          • Ron Snyder

            Not relevant to going off topic.

          • Secundius

            Which it does anyway…

    • Rocco

      Lol

  • Chesapeakeguy

    When I think of a vessel that has true ‘littoral fighting capabilities’, I think of a battleship. That’s just me. Silly me…

  • Bubblehead

    I am still holding out some form of hope that the Little Crappy Ship can one day be affective Minesweeper or during wartime patrol offshore ports for protection from subs or cruise missiles. If nothing else, if the only thing it ever is successful at is mine warfare, that is an important job. I love the NSM missile, but its lack of range is not what the USN needs.

    The fact that the USN has not been actively using the LCS to confiscate drugs coming into US, possibly pairing it with NCS, tells you all you need to know about how useless this boat is. With its speed & aviation capabilities, it shoukd exceed at this task. Why doesn’t it? Bc it cant leave port without a tug boat following it.

    • PolicyWonk

      I’d like to think so as well.

      But lets face facts: by the time the bugs are worked out sufficiently to make them useful as “ships” (i.e. a sea-frame with a propulsion plant reliable enough to allow it to move reliably from one port to another), and get the long-delayed mission packages working (i.e. beyond IOC), many of the LCS sea-frames will be heading for or through their midlife maintenance//upgrades, and will already have their appointments at the breakers/scrap-yard penciled in.

      We all enjoyed a good laugh over the Russians, who’s only carrier had to wallow around the Med with an ocean-going tug as an escort in case it broke down.

      Now its our turn to cringe, and be embarrassed if/when an LCS leaves port, ever-hopeful it doesn’t suffer the same fate.

  • Mark Meaker

    Can someone from the Navy explain to this lay person taxpayer, why a littoral combat group, operating for the first time, doesn’t include an LCS?

    • Secundius

      Littoral Waters (i.e. Green Waters) anything up to 200-meters (~656-feet) in depth. Which describes Every Ship that’s ever been constructed including Aircraft Carrier can operate in. The Continental Shelf of the Chilean Coast extends ~70-kilometers of the Chilean Coast and averages ~150-meters (~492-feet) in depth. “Littoral” is a “Generalized parameter of operation”, NOT a “Restriction in operations”. IF the US Navy had wanted a “LCS” to operate with both “Wayne E. Meyers” and “Somerset”, they would have set one. Or did you think that “Meyers” was incapable of protecting the “Somerset” by itself…

  • old guy

    Did I miss it or was there NOT a single word about what the LCS was needed for?