USS Wichita enters service

Photo: US Navy

USS Wichita (LCS 13), the US Navy’s seventh Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, was brought to life during a commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Mayport on January 12.

“The LCS, like your favorite mobile device, offers more portability and maneuverability, while being much less conspicuous,” said Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, commanding officer of Wichita. “And, like a smartphone, the LCS packs quite a hefty punch for such a small package.”

Wichita has a crew of approximately 70 sailors, and is designed to work close to shore and in the open ocean. The LCS is enabled with the COMBATSS-21 combat management system, built from the Aegis Common Source Library, which drives commonality among the fleet.

Wichita is the third ship honoring Kansas’ largest city. It sails with the motto, “Keeper of the Seas.”

The first USS Wichita (CA 45), a heavy cruiser, was commissioned in 1939 and served in World War II. The second was the lead ship of Wichita-class replenishment oilers and designated Wichita (AOR 1) upon its commissioning in 1968.

There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant LCS is built. The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 15, the future USS Billings, slated for delivery this spring.

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