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USS Freedom commissioned


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USS Freedom Commissioned in Milwaukee

(Source: US Navy; issued Nov. 8, 2008)


MILWAUKEE, Wisc. --- The crew of USS Freedom (LCS 1) ushered in a new era in naval warfare on Nov. 8 as the ship was brought to life at Milwaukee's Veterans Park before a crowd of nearly 10,000.


The ship was officially placed in commission by Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, who remarked the Navy was commissioning not just Freedom but a new class of naval war ships.


"In this platform we are making the right investments in our future security and in our prosperity," Winter said. "For those of you who will have the privilege of serving in Freedom you will play a leading role in protecting our nation's interest and in ensuring stability of the global economy. You will also be called upon to serve in a ship whose namesake defines the very aspirations of the American people and of people the world over."


Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, said Freedom will never have a more important crew than its first one, for they are the ones that set the tone and standards that will endure.


Freedom also represents a new concept in how and where the Navy is going to operate in executing the Maritime Strategy.


"USS Freedom will sail as an instrument of that strategy. Hers will be the march of the mind, with the spear and the shield, she will proclaim and insure the freedom of the seas and the freedom of the nation," Roughead said.


Freedom is an innovative combatant designed to operate quickly in shallow water environments to counter challenging threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft.


Following the Secretary's commissioning, the ship's two commanding officers, Cmdr. Donald Gabrielson, Blue Crew and Cmdr. Michael Doran, Gold Crew, took command, set the first watch and raised the ensign.


The first ensign flown over the ship had previously been flown over Baghdad. After its ceremonial unfurling, it was hauled down and presented to the ship's sponsor, Birgit Smith, in honor of her late husband's sacrifice in defense of freedom. Smith is the wife of Army Sgt. First Class Paul Smith, who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first in Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Clutching the American flag and flanked by the ship's two commanding officers and two senior enlisted leaders, Smith tearfully gave the order to the crew of Freedom, "man our ship and bring her to life."


For the crew, the commissioning was the culmination of three years of hard work.


"It is great to be part of a first of class new ship that is outfitted with 21st century technology," said Mineman 1st Class (SW) Jeff Steele, who has been with the crew since July 2006. "We have worked long and hard for this day and to bring her to life and go out and operate."


A fast, agile, and high-technology surface combatant, Freedom will act as a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles.


Its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis.


The LCS will be able to swap out mission packages adapting as the tactical situation demands. These ships will also feature advanced networking capability to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and joint units.


Freedom is the first of two LCS sea frames being produced. Freedom will be manned by one of two rotational crews, blue and gold, similar to the rotational crews assigned to Trident submarines. The crews will be augmented by one of three mission package crews during focused mission assignments.


The 378-foot Freedom was constructed at Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisc., and was the first naval vessel to be built and commissioned on the Great Lakes since World War II. She will be home ported at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., as part of the Pacific Fleet. (ends)



Pacific Fleet Commander Discusses the Littoral Combat Ship

(Source: US Navy; issued Nov. 8, 2008)


PEARL HARBOR --- In his latest edition of the "Rat-Pac Report" podcast, posted Nov. 5, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Robert F. Willard discussed the importance of the Navy's latest addition to its surface forces, the littoral combat ship (LCS).


"The littoral combat ship is going to bring us a shallow draft ship that's very fast, carries a lot of capacity with a small crew size, that's going to be very, very efficient but also, we think, very, very effective," said Willard. "It's going to contribute what we need in terms of numbers of ships and unique capabilities of ships here in the Pacific Fleet."


Approximately 400 feet long, able to travel at speeds up to 45 knots and capable of operating in water less than 20 feet deep, the LCS has flexible capabilities.


"LCS is a fast, agile and networked surface combatant with a modular, focused mission design providing the combatant commanders with warfighting abilities and operational flexibility," said Capt. Steve Kelly, U.S 3rd Fleet assistant chief of staff for requirements. "The modular aspect of the LCS allows the minimally manned ships to focus on a particular mission, while maximizing the ship's operational availability."


The LCS 1 recently completed its first sea trials and will make its way to its homeport in San Diego.


"We in the Navy are committed to this ship and to what it will bring to expeditionary warfare and littoral environments throughout the Pacific Fleet," said Willard. "I'm excited about the littoral combat ship and what she'll provide." (ends)



First Littoral Combat Ship Commissioned By U.S. Navy

(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Nov. 8, 2008)


MILWAUKEE --- The nation's first Littoral Combat Ship - USS Freedom (LCS 1) - was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in Milwaukee, WI today, officially placing the Lockheed Martin-designed and constructed vessel into active service.


The agile 378-foot USS Freedom -- a survivable, semi-planing steel monohull -- will help the Navy defeat growing littoral, or close-to-shore, threats and provide access and dominance in coastal water battlespace. Displacing approximately 3,000 metric tons and reaching speeds well over 40 knots, USS Freedom is a fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant with operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and the potential for a wide range of additional missions including maritime interdiction and humanitarian/disaster relief.


"We are proud and excited to show the world this amazing ship," said LCS Commanding Officer Cmdr. Don Gabrielson. "LCS is here and it changes the game. Freedom has more in common with an aviation squadron than a surface ship, and her sailors will blow you away with their ability to innovate."


"This is truly an exciting time for the U.S. Navy and the entire LCS program team as the nation's first Littoral Combat Ship is commissioned," said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Integrated Defense Technologies line of business. "I am extremely proud of all the men and women who worked tirelessly to bring USS Freedom to the fleet."


In 2004, the Navy awarded a contract to the Lockheed Martin team to develop the first LCS. Construction began in February 2005 and USS Freedom was christened and launched in September 2006. The ship successfully completed sea trials in August 2008, achieving results superior to most first-of-class ships, and was delivered to the Navy in September 2008. This represents less than half the time typically required to design, build, launch and deliver a first-in-class combatant. Now formally commissioned, USS Freedom will transit out of the Great Lakes to Norfolk, VA and will eventually be homeported in San Diego, CA.


The Lockheed Martin-led LCS industry team includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox, ship builders Marinette Marine Corporation, a subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc., and Bollinger Shipyards, as well as best-of-industry domestic and international teammates to provide a flexible, low-risk warfighting solution.


Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.

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Let's finally get a gaggle of them and plop them down off the Somali coast and start pirate-plinking.


They're supposed to be doing that already. An Indian vessel sunk a Pirate mothership :)

More edits : look like the Indians sunk a hijacked Thai fishing vessel, not a mothership : OOOOPS 8p

Now, wtf is a Thai fishing vessel doing so far from Thailand, that's another story, one I fear our friends in Newfoundland are all too familiar with, except there it's Portuguese, Danish and Japanese fishing vessels ;)


Not sure if it was part of CTF 150 or not.

Edit : Actually, definitely not as part of CTF 150 since Pakistan is a member and even led the task force at some point.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Interesting pic of the USS Independence hull form ...


Now that looks like something out of Star Wars


So it is a catamaran + keel or trimaran hull, hadn't noticed from the surface pixs ;)

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Looks like something out of the Axis of Time Trilogy. Oh wait.............


I wonder how fast that 57mm autocannon fires.

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