Littoral Combat Ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is now operating in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility to aid in performing anti-drug operations after a year-long deployment in the Pacific.
A Navy spokesperson confirmed to USNI News that Giffords, along with USS Sioux City (LCS-11), USS Detroit (LCS-7) and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110), are currently deployed to 4th Fleet. Giffords, an Independence-variant LCS, last week participated in a passing exercise, or PASSEX, with El Salvador, according to a Navy news release.
Giffords’ current position within 4th Fleet comes after the ship recently wrapped up a year-long deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
A spokeswoman for U.S. 7th Fleet told USNI News on Oct. 9 that Giffords left 7th Fleet and would now help perform counter-narcotics missions in 4th Fleet.
“USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) has departed the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to join the U.S. 4th Fleet following successful 12 months rotational deployment in the Indo-Pacific, where she conducted several operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and frequently worked with other navies in South and Southeast Asia through a variety of exercises and bilateral patrols,” Cmdr. Reann Mommsen told USNI News.
“Gabrielle Giffords has been assigned to continue her deployment in the 4th Fleet area of operation to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific,” she added.
Giffords’ move into 4th Fleet adds to the rotation of destroyers and Littoral Combat Ships the Navy has recently employed for anti-drug missions in U.S. Southern Command. In July, USNI News reported that the Navy had more of a warship presence within 4th Fleet in the prior three months than it had since 2015.
Sioux City, a Freedom-variant LCS, left for SOUTHCOM at the end of August to help perform counter-narcotics operations for its first deployment. The Navy last year also dispatched Freedom-variant LCS Detroit to SOUTHCOM for its first deployment.
William P. Lawrence recently performed a freedom of navigation operation in SOUTHCOM to contest Venezuela’s maritime claims.