In this file photo, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) departs Singapore in August. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Madailein Abbott)

KWAJALEIN, Marshall Islands - Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) departed Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Sept. 18, en route to its San Diego homeport.

Fort Worth arrived in Kwajalein Sept. 17 for refueling and stores onload prior to continuing the transit to homeport following a successful deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet.

"Kwajalein was an amazing visit for us," said Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, commanding officer, Fort Worth. "Although we were there for just 28 hours, we refueled, received critical supplies and most importantly, enjoyed some special moments as a crew on this very remote island."

Kwajalein Atoll is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and is home to approximately 1,000 government contractors. With only about one square mile of land, the island is the southernmost island of an atoll surrounding a bright blue lagoon. Sailors had the opportunity to explore the local community and waters while the ship was in port.

"We continue to take great care of our warship, but also took time to explore the island, her beautiful beaches and magnificent lagoon," Brasseur said. "We are just halfway home, but I am very pleased with the performance of our warship and dedicated crew."

Sailors looked forward to a day of liberty to explore the small, remote island.

"I was amazed by how clear and blue the water was," Gunner's Mate First Class Andy Knowles explained, "Kwajalein is a hidden gem and I'm really glad I got to explore it for a day."

Fort Worth is a Freedom variant littoral combat ship. Designed with a shallow draft to operate near the shore, she is capable of high speeds with great agility. She is currently en route back to her homeport of San Diego following a successful maiden deployment over the past 18 months in U.S. 7th Fleet. While on deployment, she was a part of many multilateral exercises and played a key role in the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 recovery mission.

The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 25 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.