Friday, October 19, 2012

Forth Worth Arrives in San Diego: Maiden Voyage Complete

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Rosalie Garcia, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) arrived in San Diego Oct. 18, completing the ship's maiden voyage to her homeport.

The ship, named for Fort Worth, Texas, the 17th largest city in the United States and the 5th largest city in Texas, was built in Marinette, Wis., and was commissioned in Galveston, Texas, Sept 22.

After commissioning, Fort Worth departed Galveston and steamed through the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Panama Canal into the Pacific Ocean, completing more than 11,000 miles on her maiden voyage.

Fort Worth Blue Crew Commanding Officer Cmdr. Randy Blankenship, said the blue crew, teamed with the Anti-Submarine Warfare Mission Package crew members, is excited to be reuniting with their families as they deliver the ship to the San Diego fleet.

"Our Sailors have done an amazing job operating this ship for the very first time and flawlessly executing so many challenging evolutions with absolute professionalism and pride," said Blankenship. "I am exceptionally proud of the effort this team has put forth, and they deserve full and unique recognition for this accomplishment."

Fort Worth is outfitted with reconfigurable mission packages, which can be changed out quickly, and focus on three mission areas: mine countermeasures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

"This is definitely a ship that 20 years from now, we will invent a weapon or capability that we haven't even thought of that will be able to go on the ship because of how the ship has been designed to carry a payload," said Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman. "The ship is a different way of how we've designed to deliver combat capabilities to the fleet."

Fort Worth is 390 feet in length, with a steel mono hull, aluminum structure and is the third littoral combat ship in the fleet. It has a displacement of approximately 3,000 metric tons fully loaded, is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots, and can operate in water less than 20-feet deep. Propelled by four water jets in addition to two diesel and two gas turbine engines, the ship boasts a range of over 3,500 nautical miles.