Navy Decommissions Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado After 8 Years With the Fleet

September 14, 2022 5:37 PM
Capt. Marc Crawford, center, commodore of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE, gives the order to decommission Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS-4) during a decommissioning ceremony, Sept. 14. US Navy Photo

The Navy decommissioned USS Coronado (LCS-4) Wednesday, ending the ship’s time in the fleet after less than a decade.

Coronado is the third Littoral Combat Ship the Navy has decommissioned, with the sea service aiming to deactivate another nine as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. USS Independence (LCS-2), the first of its class, was decommissioned in July 2021 after 11 years. Coronado served eight years.

The 3,000-ton, aluminum Independence and Coronado were built for General Dynamics by Mobile, Ala., shipbuilder Austal USA as part of the competition for the final design of the LCS.

The Navy commissioned Coronado April 5, 2014, at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, Calif., according to a Navy statement from the decommissioning ceremony. It deployed in 2015 for a maiden deployment to the western Pacific that lasted 18 months, USNI News previously reported.

While operating out of Singapore, the Coronado made port calls to Cam Ranh, Vietnam, and Lamut, Malaysia, according to the Navy.

The deployment, which wrapped in 2017, included an over the horizon shot of a Harpoon anti-ship missile that served as a test ahead of equipping other Independence-class ships in the Western Pacific with Naval Strike Missiles in more recent deployments.

USS Coronado (LCS 4), an Independence-variant littoral combat ship, launches the first over-the-horizon missile engagement using a Harpoon Block 1C missile on July 19, 2016. US Navy photo.

“Coronado supported presence operations and maritime security operations to include the advancement of the LCS manned-unmanned teaming concepts through successful targeting exercises with an embarked MQ-8B Fire Scout,” according to the release. “The ship’s successful operations demonstrated the relevance of LCS as a platform that provides flexible options and tactical advantages.”

The Navy assigned Coronado to its San Diego, Calif., Surface Development Squadron 1 as test and training ship following the deployment.

“Today, we recognize the great contribution Coronado and its crew made in developing the operational concepts foundational to the current configuration and deployment of littoral combat ships,” said Rear Adm. Wayne Baze, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, said during the ceremony, according to the release. “Thanks to Coronado, the future of LCS looks bright.”

It is the third ship to be named after Coronado, Calif. The first was a World War II-era patrol frigate that served for two years before being decommissioned in 1945. The former USS Coronado (AGF-11) was commissioned in 1970 and decommissioned in 2006. The Navy sank the ship during the 2012 Valiant Shield exercise

Now that it has been decommissioned, Coronado will be placed in Out of Commission, In Reserve (OCIR) status.

Both classes of Littoral Combat Ships suffered with problems since they entered the fleet, resulting in the early decommissionings.

Congress has put limits on how many Littoral Combat Ships can be decommissioned in the yet-to-be-passed National Defense Authorization Act. USS Freedom (LCS-1), the first of its class, was decommissioned in October 2021 after 13 years in the fleet.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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