Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) arrived to Subic Bay, Philippines, on May 13 to resupply after a weeklong routine patrol in international waters and airspace of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands.
While Fort Worth has transited the South China Sea many times, this patrol marks the first time an LCS has operated in international waters near the Spratlys.
While operating in international waters and airspace near the Spratley’s, Fort Worth conducted flight operations with its MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system and MH-60R Seahawk helicopter. Fort Worth encountered multiple People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] warships, each time taking the opportunity to use the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).
Following the brief stop for fuel in the Philippines, Fort Worth will return to Singapore for the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) 2015 just ahead of the second crew swap in late May.
Throughout the summer and fall, Fort Worth will take part in most of the 2015 CARAT exercise series.
Image: US Navy