The crew of the U.S. Navy’s Singapore-based littoral combat ship USS Coronado will be welcoming relief in April after spending nine months embarked on the ship.
Littoral Combat Ship Crew 203 departed San Diego March 27 and will relieve Crew 204 in mid-April.
Crew 204, the original Coronado crew which deployed with the ship in June last year was supposed to return home in October. Recent changes to the LCS training and certification program and a lack of trimaran LCS hulls for Crew 203 pre-deployment work up resulted in Crew 204 staying in Singapore almost half a year longer than planned, according to Navy Times.
Prior to deploying, Crew 203 completed multiple off-hull simulator and on-hull underway opportunities to include engineering, aviation launch and recovery certifications; Integrated Ship Aviation Team Training (ISATT) and Mission Package workups.
“The training and certification process is extensive and necessary to ensure our crews are fully prepared for the demands of deployment,” said Capt. Jordy M. Harrison, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE.
“I am proud of Crew 203 and our entire LCS team for their dedication and hard work to implement recent changes to LCS on-hull training opportunities following last September’s LCS Review. These changes in the LCS program will ensure we provide the Fleet with crews trained and prepared to execute the mission sets,” said Harrison.
Forward-deployed Coronado is outfitted with the surface warfare (SUW) mission package, comprised of two 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats; two visit, board, search, and seizure boarding teams; two 30mm machine guns; two MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles, and an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.
Coronado arrived in Singapore in October 2016, marking the first deployment of an Independence-variant littoral combat ship to Southeast Asia and the third overall LCS deployment following USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). Operating from Singapore, Coronado has participated in multiple exercises with allied and partner navies across the region during her deployment.
To date, Coronado has completed a passing exercise with the Royal Brunei Navy, and conducted counter piracy operations and flight operations in the South China Sea. Additionally, Coronado was the first LCS to launch a Harpoon anti-ship missile during the 2016 Rim of the Pacific exercise.