The San Diego-based littoral combat ship USS Forth Worth departed Monday for a 16-month maiden deployment to Singapore.
While in Southeast Asia, the shop will rotate its crew every four months. It will be the first littoral combat ship to use a helicopter drone on board, Navy officials said.
The deployment will help bring “Navy’s strategic rebalance to the Pacific,” officials said in a news release. It’s intended to build off the work of the USS Freedom’s deployment there between March to December 2013.
During USS Fort Worth’s deployment, the shop will visit more ports than the Freedom, engage in more training exercises as well as expand this type of ship’s capabilities, including the MQ-8B fire scout vertical takeoff and the helicopter drone.
“We have to be able to perform a majority of missions of a destroyer and frigate and more. I think that we'll show a lot of people how valuable we can be,” Cmdr. Kendall Bridgewater, LCS Crew 104s commanding officer, said in a news release.
The Fort Worth ship has an aluminum superstructure and can reach speeds greater than 40 knots. The LCS, this type of ship, is a fast and maneuverable vessel designed for fighting in coastal waters.