LCS to Deploy to the Gulf?
This is funny since the subject came up on my recent visit to the Navy’s newest shallow warship, when it docked in Charleston Harbor this week. But first, from the Scoop Deck blog:
A spokesman for Roughead, Capt. Conrad Chun, would not confirm that (Navy CNO Admiral Gary)Roughead had called for an earlier deployment for the Freedom; Chun said he would not respond to anonymous reports on blogs. Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Jennifer Allen also would not comment on the report. Chun did point out that Roughead “has always said LCS is a capability the fleet needs.”
In the post, MOAA blogger Gina DiNicolo speculates that the Navy could benefit politically from an early Freedom deployment, by demonstrating it has too few ships; that the technology in the advanced Freedom is ready to go; and that Congress should continue to buy littoral combat ships.
“Bottom line: The Navy needs money and ships. Send this jet ski-warship into harm’s way now without disaster and cha-ching,” DiNicolo wrote.
So I was speaking with a sailor on the LCS Freedom on Tuesday about when would the USN’s premier “pirate buster” actually be sent to fight the new insurgents at sea. The crewman was very noncommittal with information and didn’t seem to want to talk to me. Would the Freedom’s crew know something they didn’t wish to share with the public? Certainly understandable until they get the nod from higher up.