U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) departed Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, on September 18, after a brief stop en route to Naval Base San Diego.
Fort Worth arrived in Kwajalein September 17 for refueling and stores onload prior to continuing the transit to her homeport after starting her journey from Singapore on August 22.
The ship suffered damage to propulsion gears in Singapore in January this year and was forced to spend eight months in port. After undergoing initial repairs which took less time than was expected, the ship was able to use both main propulsion diesel engines for a transit across the Pacific Ocean.
Kwajalein Atoll is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and is home to approximately 1,000 government contractors. With only about one square mile of land, the island is the southernmost island of an atoll surrounding a bright blue lagoon. Sailors had the opportunity to explore the local community and waters while the ship was in port.
“Kwajalein was an amazing visit for us,” said Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, commanding officer, Fort Worth. “Although we were there for just 28 hours, we refueled, received critical supplies and most importantly, enjoyed some special moments as a crew on this very remote island.”
Fort Worth is a Freedom variant littoral combat ship. According to the U.S. Navy, the ship was a model of reliability for more than a year while deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet prior to the casualty. During the first 14 months of her deployment, Fort Worth participated in the search and recovery efforts for AirAsia flight QZ8501, made 12 port visits and participated in 10 bilateral and multilateral exercises across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
USS Coronado (LCS 4) was set to replace Fort Worth as the rotationally deployed LCS in Singapore but it also suffered an “engineering casualty” which the U.S. Navy described as unrelated to problems experienced by USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth.