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130414-N-DX349-269 (PACIFIC OCEAN) April 14, 2013 – The Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) sails alongside USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as part of a strait transit demonstration during the aircraft carrier's Sustainment Exercise off the coast of Southern California. Fort Worth, a semi-planing, mono-hull vessel, is a fast, agile, and mission-focused platform designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. The ship is designed to operate in hostile near-shore environments, known as "the littorals", and to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. Fort Worth is the second of the Freedom variant of LCS. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Phil Ladouceur/Released)
Crew 101 Completes Crew Certification Aboard Fort Worth 
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Rosalie Garcia Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs 
SAN DIEGO – Crew 101, normally embarked aboard littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), successfully completed crew certification aboard their sister ship, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) April 16, making them the first LCS crew to take command of multiple LCS ships.

“This is the first time Crew 101 has been on a ship other than Freedom. I believe the crew has done a great job shifting from Freedom and preparing her for deployment, completing off-hull training, and taking command of Fort Worth to get underway for certification and operating in a battle group,” said Crew 101 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Pat Thien. “I think we have definitely lived up to the standards of Crew 101 and Freedom as fast, focused and fearless, and also the Fort Worth standard of grit and tenacity.”

Crew 101 Command Master Chief (SW/FMF) Chris Kotz said the certification process was a great opportunity for the Sailors to become familiar with the ship and continue their deployment sustainment training by keeping their qualifications up-to-date and their watchstanding skills sharp.

“Our mission was to enhance our war-fighting skills during the certification process. Back in February, we built a strong foundation of skill sets that were necessary to deploy on Freedom,” said Kotz. “We compressed as much as we could into this certification and now the crew has a stronger foundation to work from, because now they have context, experience and a basic understanding of the systems on Fort Worth.”

Boatswain’s Mates certified on Fort Worth’s cranes, side doors, stern doors, hoists, and trolleys. They also operated her anchor windlass. Engineers conducted a full walk-though of the engineering plant while also being trained on the specific software programs that operate the engineering equipment and control consoles. Information Technicians and Electronics Technicians learned the details of the ship's server and software programs.

“Before we took over the ship, we did a ‘difference training’ to get an idea of what systems had changed and the different ways they operate. Lessons learned from Freedom informed improvements for Fort Worth, so there were a few different systems,” said Crew 101 Executive Officer, Cmdr. Dale Heinken. “It is a Freedom variant with improved changes and we were able to come aboard and figure out the differences. It took a few days to get accustomed to but after that, it was just like operating Freedom.”

Freedom is currently deployed to the 7th Fleet, where the ship is being operated by Crew 102, and will be relieved by Crew 101 later this summer.

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors; and on Twitter, @surfacewarriors
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