U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS Coronado arrived in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) October 3 while on its maiden deployment to Southeast Asia.
The ship departed Hawaii for a 16-month rotational deployment to the 7th Fleet in September after spending a month in port for repairs on the ship’s propulsion plant.
Coronado is the first Independence-variant LCS to deploy to the U.S. 7th Fleet as part of an initiative to deploy multiple LCS to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in just a few years.
The Freedom-class LCS variants USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth have previously deployed to the region. Coronado, like Freedom and Fort Worth, will operate from Singapore as a maintenance hub and rotationally deploy crews during the deployment.
“Similar to the Freedom and Fort Worth deployments, Coronado will participate in exercises and engagements throughout South and Southeast Asia and beyond,” said Capt. H. B. Le, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7. “The LCS platform is well suited for this region and provides a unique opportunity for our partner and allied nations to operate alongside one of our navy’s newest and most advanced platforms.”
The Independence variant boasts a larger flight deck than the Freedom variant, allowing for expanded aviation operations with regional navies, and has more fuel capacity providing increased operational capabilities.