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120409-N-ZS026-359 ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 9, 2012) - Littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) steams through the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Sailors from Independence's Gold Crew and embarked Mine Countermeasures (MCM), Detachment 1 are underway for the ship's maiden voyage to San Diego after successfully completing testing on the MCM mission package. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Welsh/Released)
Independence Departs for Homeport of San Diego 
By USS Independence (LCS 2) Public Affairs 
MAYPORT, Fla. - The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) departed Naval Station Mayport April 9, embarking on the ship’s maiden voyage to her homeport of San Diego.

The transit, led by the ship’s Gold Crew, marks the successful completion of testing the ability of the ship’s Mine Countermeasures (MCM) mission package to detect, localize, and destroy mines in a tactical environment.

Sailors from Independence and embarked MCM Detachment 1 conducted operations off the coast of Florida, training with organic assets including the Remote Minehunting Vehicle (RMV) and MH-60S helicopters especially configured to tow the Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS).

“We are excited about the success demonstrated during our recent MCM developmental testing, bringing us one step closer to operational integration with the fleet,” said Cmdr. Gerald R. Olin, commanding officer of Independence’s Gold Crew. “The crew is looking forward to the Panama Canal transit, a well deserved port visit in-route, and to bringing the ship to its homeport of San Diego for the first time. Independence is an exciting ship, and we can’t wait to show it to our friends and family on the west coast.”

Upon arrival in San Diego, Gold Crew will begin the process of turnover with the ship’s Blue Crew, including a custody inspection of parts and an exchange of command.

“We’ve worked hard to get the ship ready for this underway, and it’s paid off,” said Electronics Technician 1st Class Michael Neville, who has been stationed aboard Independence since 2010. “It’s a great feeling to be headed home.”

LCS is a fast, agile, networked surface combatant designed to operate in the near-shore environment, while capable of open-ocean tasking, and win against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft. LCS’ modular, focused-mission design provides combatant commanders the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to ensure maritime dominance and access for the joint force.
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