SAN DIEGO - Littoral Combat Ship Crew 203 departed San Diego March 28 for a scheduled rotational deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region on board USS Coronado (LCS 4).
Coronado and its current crew, Crew 204, will conduct a turnover in Singapore with the oncoming crew, which will conclude with an exchange of command in mid-April.
Crew 203's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Douglas Meagher, said his team is prepared for the challenge and eager to join the forward deployed forces.
"Crew 203 is ready to assume our duties in the Pacific, continuing to develop partnerships and maintain presence in some of the world's most significant sea lanes," said Meagher.
The responsibility for maintaining the crew's deployment schedule falls on Lt. Cmdr. Adam Ochs, Crew 203's operations officer.
"Theater Security Cooperation is a key mission area for LCS and we look forward to carrying the flag forward and working with our South-East Asia partners through multiple engagements and training opportunities," said Ochs.
Prior to deploying, Crew 203 completed multiple off-hull simulator and on-hull underway opportunities to include engineering, aviation launch and recovery certifications; Integrated Ship Aviation Team Training (ISATT) and Mission Package workups.
"The training and certification process is extensive and necessary to ensure our crews are fully prepared for the demands of deployment," said Capt. Jordy M. Harrison, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE.
"I am proud of Crew 203 and our entire LCS team for their dedication and hard work to implement recent changes to LCS on-hull training opportunities following last September's LCS Review. These changes in the LCS program will ensure we provide the Fleet with crews trained and prepared to execute the mission sets," said Harrison.
Coronado is outfitted with the surface warfare (SUW) mission package, comprised of two 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats; two visit, board, search, and seizure boarding teams; two 30mm machine guns; two MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles; and an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.
Coronado arrived in Singapore in October 2016, marking the first deployment of an Independence-variant littoral combat ship to Southeast Asia and the third overall LCS deployment following USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). Operating from Singapore, Coronado has participated in multiple exercises with allied and partner navies across the region during her deployment.
To date, Coronado has completed a passing exercise with the Royal Brunei Navy, and conducted counter piracy operations and flight operations in the South China Sea. Additionally, Coronado was the first LCS to launch a Harpoon anti-ship missile during the 2016 Rim of the Pacific exercise.
Currently on a rotational deployment to Southeast Asia, Coronado is a fast and agile warship tailor-made to patrol the region's littorals and work hull-to-hull with partner navies, providing the U.S. 7th Fleet with the flexible capabilities it needs now and in the future.