LCS Crew 103 Rough Riders successfully completed the second quarter of the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth’s (LCS 3) maiden deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific following a crew swap with LCS Crew 102 Gold Crew May 26.
The turnover is Fort Worth’s second crew swap and marks the halfway point of the ship’s 16-month rotational deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet.
Crew 103 was joined on deployment by the “All Stars” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, Detachment 2, and the “Badgers” of Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package, Detachment 1.
Fort Worth hit a number of deployment milestones since departing Singapore in February following the first crew swap. The ship participated in exercise Foal Eagle 2015 with the Republic of Korea Navy, marking the first time an LCS had participated in that exercise, as well as the first time an LCS had operated in Northeast Asia.
Following Foal Eagle, an expeditionary maintenance availability took place in Sasebo, Japan, which proved to be a successful test of the ship’s maintenance flexibility that will expand the operational reach of future LCSs deployed to U.S. 7th Fleet.
Upon the ship’s return to Southeast Asia, Fort Worth played an integral part in the sixth annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) Vietnam, a five-day visit to Vietnam that included an all-hands call by the Secretary of the Navy and concluded with a one-day underway with the Vietnam People’s Navy.
Crew 103’s final major event was Singapore’s International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX), where Fort Worth operated with a number of regional navies in port and at sea. All of these exercises and events underscore Fort Worth’s growing contribution to 7th Fleet.
Crew 103 will arrive at their homeport of San Diego May 27, where the crew will spend time training on-shore and off the California coast before redeploying to sail USS Detroit (LCS 7) from Marinette, Wisconsin, to its homeport in San Diego.
Crew 102 comes aboard with about 100 Sailors, which includes Sailors from “The Enforcers” of HSM-35, Detachment 3, and “The Horsemen” of SUW Mission Package, Detachment 4.
Image: US Navy