PACIFIC OCEAN - Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) sailed across the international date line Sept. 21, officially marking its transition into the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations as it transits to its homeport of San Diego.
For the first time since its forward deployment to Singapore in November 2014, Fort Worth is in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations.
"We are very proud of the work our warship did in 7th Fleet during her maiden deployment," said Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, Fort Worth commanding officer. "Of course, that is in our wake, and we are laser-focused on what lies ahead. We have just crossed the halfway point of the return transit and have nearly 4,000 nautical miles to go before we complete our mission."
Sailors aboard celebrated the event with a steel beach picnic.
"It's fun getting the chance to go back in time and relive a day," said Lt. Thomas May. "I hadn't had the chance to cross the international date line yet in my career, so I'm glad I was able to add it to my resume."
Fort Worth is a high-speed and agile craft designed to operate in shallow waters close to shore. It has the ability to employ multiple mission modules, including those for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures. The surface warfare mission package currently on board is designed to defeat small boat threats and provides the capability for the ship to conduct maritime interdiction operations. The package consists of two 30mm guns, two 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats, a MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, a 19-person surface warfare detachment, and a 23-person aviation detachment.
Fort Worth spent the previous 22 months operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, participating in multilateral missions and exercises.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the eastern Pacific Ocean and engages in joint, interagency and international relationships that strengthen the ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.