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SAN DIEGO - Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Crew 103 and Detachment Two from the "Magicians" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 are scheduled to depart San Diego for Singapore Feb. 8 to relieve LCS Crew 104 on USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) as part of a 16-month rotational deployment in support of the Navy's strategic rebalance to the Pacific.
Fort Worth is the first LCS to deploy under the "3-2-1" manning concept, swapping fully trained crews roughly every four months. This concept will allow Fort Worth to deploy six months longer than Freedom, which swapped crews once in 10 months, extending LCS forward presence and reducing crew fatigue for the 16-month deployment. It is named 3-2-1 because three rotational crews will support two LCS ships and maintain one deployed ship.
"I am very proud of my LCS Crew 103, Surface Warfare Detachment 1 and HSM-35 Detachment Two," said Cmdr. Matt Kawas, crew 103 commanding officer. "This incredibly talented team of Sailors has thoroughly prepared for the last several months, both ashore and on USS Freedom (LCS 1). We are ready and excited to have the privilege to sail Fort Worth again, helping to demonstrate U.S. forward presence and working with partner navies in the Pacific. Thanks to LCS Squadron One and the other organizations who helped us prepare. We are especially thankful to our families and the city of Fort Worth, Texas for their overwhelming love and support!"
Fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom is the lead ship of the Freedom variant for LCS, and is a semi-planing steel monohull with an aluminum superstructure. The ship can reach speeds in excess of 40 knots.
The Magicians of HSM-35 fly the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.