CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore - Cmdr. Rich Jarrett was relieved as the commanding officer of littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) by Cmdr. Christopher Brown July 10.
Jarrett’s tenure in the LCS program is one of the longest in the program’s history.
“This marks my 10th year of association with LCS ships, starting with the commissioning crew for USS Freedom (LCS 1) in 2005,” said Jarrett. “It has been a wonderful adventure watching these ships and this program develop. Being in command of USS Fort Worth while she is forward deployed is a wonderful way to wrap up a command-at-sea assignment, as we unlock the potential of these ships every day we operate in 7th Fleet.”
Over the past 18 months, Brown served as LCS Crew 102’s executive officer and side-by-side with Jarrett.
“With the departure of Cmdr. Jarrett, the LCS program is losing its longest serving member. He takes with him a wealth of knowledge and he will be missed,” said Brown. “I've enjoyed learning from him and I plan to continue striving for excellence and never accepting the status quo.”
Fort Worth is slated to participate in a majority of the 2015 iteration of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, which Fort Worth helped kick off in the Philippines in June. CARAT is the U.S. Navy’s premier naval engagement in South and Southeast Asia and provides a venue to develop strong maritime partnerships that contribute to the greater peace and stability of the region. Fort Worth will next participate in CARAT Singapore in mid-July.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead the men and women of Fort Worth,” said Brown. “This is by far the most diverse and professional crew I've had the privilege of serving with and I am eager to dive right into the myriad CARATs. I am constantly in awe watching this crew of ordinary men and women performing extraordinary feats every day, and I look forward to serving as their commanding officer. I am lucky to have them.”
Fort Worth is the second LCS to deploy as part of an initiative for up to four rotational deployments of these ships simultaneously to U.S. 7th Fleet in the coming years.
Fast, agile and mission-focused, LCS is designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare. Fort Worth will employ the surface warfare mission package for her entire deployment, augmenting her 57mm gun and rolling airframe missile launcher with two 30mm guns, two 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats and two six-member maritime security boarding teams.
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.