USS Coronado (LCS 4) file photo. (U.S. Navy/MCC Keith DeVinney)

SAN DIEGO - The littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) is scheduled to depart Naval Base San Diego June 22 on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific.

Prior to proceeding on deployment Coronado will participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). The exercise provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.

While deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet, the ship and crew of about 70 Sailors, assigned to LCS Squadron (LCSRON) 1, will conduct presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.

"We're excited to have USS Coronado taking part in the world's largest international maritime exercise," said Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet. "This ship will play a critical role in the fleet and in our nation's defense. RIMPAC provides a good opportunity for our partner navies to work with the ship and see how it can contribute to collective regional security."

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 will also be deploying on Coronado with the first-ever MQ-8 Fire Scout equipped with a maritime surveillance radar (Telephonics AN/ZPY-4). Fire Scout will significantly improve the Navy's surface search capabilities for LCS and its action group, allowing assets to employ an autonomous aircraft off of a naval vessel for search, detection, surveillance, and tracking of maritime surface vessels.

"It is an honor and privilege to deploy the first LCS-2 variant to the 7th Fleet AOR," said Cmdr. Scott Larson, commanding officer of Coronado and LCS Crew 204. "It's time to demonstrate the full potential of these ships to the fleet, and I have every confidence that the Coronado team is poised to execute at a high level in support of vital operational tasking. I am exceedingly proud of how hard these Sailors have worked and trained, and grateful for the unconditional support our families have provided in helping us reach this milestone."

Coronado is an innovative surface combatant designed to operate in littoral seas and shallow water to counter mines, submarines and fast surface craft threats in coastal regions.