USS Coronado Returns to San Diego from first deployment

SAN DIEGO – Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Coronado (LCS 4) and the "Wildcards" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 (HSC-23) returned home from an 18-month deployment, Dec. 5.

A few hours after HSC-23 disembarked the ship and flew back to Naval Air Station North Island, the Sailors of LCS Crew 203 were met by friends and family at Naval Base San Diego, officially completing their eight month segment of the deployment. Crew 203 relieved Crew 204 in April; the previous crew had begun USS Coronado's maiden deployment in June 2016.

“Each member of the core crew and the embarked detachments contributed to Coronado’s successful maiden deployment,” said Cmdr. Douglas Meagher, Coronado’s commanding officer. “I am extremely proud of their sustained efforts at sea and our accomplishments as a team.”

Coronado contributed to LCS program milestones and to national interests on her maiden deployment by participating in and conducting various operations in the Western Pacific,

Over the course of the deployment, the ship strengthened relationships with many U.S. allies including the navy and country of the Republic of Singapore, which became a temporary homeport for the ship during the deployment.

“We were honored to work with our partners in Singapore. They helped [the port] become a home-away-from-home while the ship was there,” said Meagher.

During the deployment. "USS Coronado operated with the navies of 16 nations, participated in 11 multilateral and bilateral exercises, and made 10 strategic port visits throughout the region. One major milestone of the deployment was the firing of a 'Harpoon' surface-to-surface missile that successfully struck a target beyond visual range while operating with the Singapore Navy during Exercise Pacific Griffin near Guam.

 

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“This deployment showed me the true power of 'the Sailor,' said Coronado Command Master Chief Joshua J. Jackson. “With a minimally manned crew we accomplished a great deal and successfully met the challenges of completing many 'first' milestones in the community. Our crew was extremely honored to accept the challenges and we are now excited to return home to our families.”

The Sailors were not the only ones happy for the homecoming. Family and friends were excited to show their love and support for the returning Sailors.

“The home fire is burning bright and the families are excited to welcome home their Sailors,” said Lorraine Richards, Coronado’s command ombudsman. “In addition to the great job our Sailors have done while deployed, during these past eight months we’ve had three babies born and several graduations and promotions. Now we are looking forward to having some time to enjoy these milestones together and enjoy our time with our Sailors.”

Capt. Jordy M. Harrison, commander of LCS Squadron 1, was also on hand to welcome home the crew of Coronado. He said he was proud of and amazed by the crew’s performance during their long deployment.

“What our ships offer our combatant commanders cannot be understated,” said Harrison. “LCS provides force flexibility, offering the commanders options to pair capability with mission. Coronado's return to homeport following the maiden deployment is a testament to the successes of the ship and program, demonstrating once again the capability and value of LCS in the Fleet.”

USS Coronado was the fourth LCS to be commissioned, the second of the Independence-variant, and is the third U.S. Navy ship named after the city of Coronado. LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet is fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the Surface Fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats, independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution and a more diverse set of options to commanders across a broad spectrum of operations. Surface Warfare Magazine

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