Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Freedom Makes Inaugural Visit to National Capital Region

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) pulls into port at Robinson Terminal in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The Freedom brings new capabilities to the fleet, including the ability to travel closer to shore than a conventional ship, providing a considerable advantage in the war on terror. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brien Aho/Released)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (NNS) -- USS Freedom (LCS 1), the first of two LCS sea frames being produced, made a port visit May 4 to Alexandria, Va.

According to Gold Crew Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Michael P. Doran, Freedom and its crew are proud to show off the various mission module systems, including the 30 millimeter gun module, non-line-of-sight launch system, anti-submarine warfare unmanned surface vehicle and remote multi-mission vehicle to visitors in the National Capital Region.

"It is great to be here in Alexandria," he said. "It is definitely a pleasure and honor to show off the ship in the Washington, D.C. area."

Freedom was commissioned Nov. 6, 2008, in Milwaukee, Wisc., and made port visits to Cleveland, Ohio; Buffalo, N.Y.; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Annapolis, Md., before arriving in its homeport of Norfolk, Va.

A fast, agile, and high-technology surface combatant, Freedom will act as a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles. Its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis. The LCS will be able to swap out mission packages, adapting as the tactical situation demands. These ships will also feature advanced networking capability to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and joint units.

Freedom will be manned by one of two rotational crews, blue and gold, similar to the rotational crews assigned to Trident submarines. The crews will be augmented by one of three mission package crews during focused mission assignments.

The 378-foot Freedom was constructed at Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisc., and was the first naval vessel to be built and commissioned on the Great Lakes since World War II. She will be homeported in San Diego.