BEACHES LEADER, FL - 12 FEB 10
The littoral combat ship USS Freedom will depart from Mayport Feb. 16 for its maiden deployment to the Southern Command and Pacific Command areas of responsibility.
Freedom will deploy to the waters surrounding Latin America to conduct counter-illicit trafficking operations and theater security cooperation activities while en route to its new homeport of San Diego, Calif. The ship will embark Detachment 2 from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 in Norfolk, Va.; the first tailored LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package from San Diego; and U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 704 from Miami to meet these mission requirements.
"This deployment comes a full two years ahead of schedule," said Cmdr. Randy Garner, commanding officer of Freedom's Gold Crew. "We are ready and eager to get to sea, head south, and show what Freedom and its crew are capable of doing."
The first ship in the revolutionary littoral combat ship class, Freedom is a fast, maneuverable, and networked surface modular ship designed to complement the Navy's larger multi-mission surface combatants in select mission areas, including combating submarines, mines, and fast-attack craft threats in the littorals.