LCS Deploys Early
The rumors have been ongoing most of the year, now its officially-official. Yesterday the Department of Defense and the Navy released the following statement:
The Navy announced today the decision to deploy the USS Freedom (LCS 1) in early 2010 to the Southern Command and Pacific Command areas ahead of her originally scheduled 2012 maiden deployment. According to Navy leaders, Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are needed now to close urgent warfighting gaps.
“Deploying LCS now is a big step forward in getting this ship where it needs to be – operating in the increasingly important littoral regions,” said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations. “We must deliver this critical capability to the warfighter now.” The USS Freedom will have an immediate impact on fleet readiness and global reach as an asset with unique combat capabilities and the ability to meet littoral tasking not previously seen in the modern cruiser or destroyer fleet.
My thoughts: Probably the right thing to do. Whatever my grievance against the LCS design, I fully support the crew and their mission. Perhaps they will learn something from the impending cruise, that large Blue Water ships are best suited for their environment, while for the shallow seas, smaller more numerous and better armed vessels will be required. Nothing exquisite, just hulls in the water, and enough of them.
Update-Apparently the reference to “Central Command” at Navy Times was a typo because it is gone now.