SAN DIEGO - The inaugural littoral combat ship returned from a U.S. Fourth Fleet deployment, April 12.
Littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) was deployed to support Joint Interagency Task Force South's mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
"The success of this deployment is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Freedom's Sailors and our embarked detachments," said Cmdr. Larry Repass, Freedom's commanding officer. "Every Sailor and U.S. Coast Guardsman on this mission has lived up to Freedom's motto of 'Fast, Focused, Fearless,' and they have made great contributions to maritime security in the region."
During their deployment, the crew of Freedom and a detachment from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 completed joint operations with a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment in support of counter-illicit trafficking, improving Navy-Coast Guard naval warfighting readiness and interoperability. Additionally, Freedom sailed with naval assets from both El Salvador and Guatemala, strengthening naval partnerships and improving regional readiness.
"The crew of Freedom delivered tremendous operational success and highlighted the adaptability and versatility of littoral combat ships during a successful deployment to U.S. 4th Fleet," said Capt. Jack Fay, commodore of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. "As the Navy's first LCS, USS Freedom paved the way for the class and introduced a unique set of capabilities to the waterfront. Much of what Freedom Sailors accomplished during the ship's commissioned service will be leveraged by LCS crews around the globe for years to come."
While providing counter-narcotics support, Freedom disrupted more than 2,000 kilograms of cocaine and 3,895 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated street value of more than 111 million dollars. Most recently, the Coast Guard-Navy team aboard Freedom conducted a seizure of more than 1,500 kilograms of cocaine off the coast of Mexico, April 7.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy's timeless roles of sea control and power projection. U.S. 3rd Fleet works in close coordination with other numbered Fleets to provide commanders with capable, ready assets to deploy forward and win in day-to-day competition, in crisis, and in conflict.
For more information on Freedom's recent deployment, please visit https://www.dvidshub.net/news/393400/coast-guard-navy-seize-illicit-drugs-third-fleet-waters, https://www.dvidshub.net/news/387369/uss-freedom-completes-trilateral-passex-with-el-salvador-guatemala, and https://www.surfpac.navy.mil/lcs1/.