US Navy littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9) finally reached her homeport in Mayport, Florida, after spending over three months in Montreal, Canada, trapped by ice.
The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship reached its homeport on April 12, for the first time since she was commissioned on December 16, 2017.
The ship was commissioned in Buffalo and then transited the Saint Lawrence Seaway, navigating through 15 locks, until they reached Montreal, Canada. This is where the crew had to stop their journey due to what the navy described as “historical weather conditions and ice.”
Little Rock was able to continue the journey early April, stopping in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Virginia Beach, Virginia, before arriving in Florida.
The crew lined the rails in their dress blues as the crowd of friends, families, and shipmates greeted the ship with flowers, signs and waving American flags.
The ship made a memorable entrance, blasting the song “Back in Black” after mooring. The ship also played this song when pulling into Buffalo, New York, for commissioning, as a tribute to the ship’s namesake, USS Little Rock (CL-92), and to ring in their motto “Back With a Vengeance.”
“Little Rock is a fast, lethal ship ready to go out and fulfill her mission,” said Cmdr. Todd Peters, the ship’s commanding officer. “The crew worked relentlessly to bring her home and make their way ‘Back With a Vengeance.’ We are ready to make final preparations to deploy and carry our motto into history.”
Little Rock is the fifth freedom-variant LCS to join the fleet. The fast, shallow draft vessel has a modular design capable of implementing a variety of mission packages as an asset to the fleet in both the shallow coastal regions and the open ocean.