Jacksonville, Fla. – USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), a San Diego-based littoral combat ship, arrived today at the BAE shipyard. Milwaukee left Norfolk Wednesday, after having completed initial engineering repairs on her propulsion system.
An investigation has been ongoing since the Milwaukee experienced a loss of propulsion while underway in December. The current focus of the investigation indicates a likely failure of an emergency stop event in response to a loss of fuel pressure to both the port and starboard gas turbine engines that occurred while operating in combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) mode.
Though Milwaukee is a San Diego-based ship, she is currently manned with a Mayport-based team, LCS Crew 108. After successful completion of required certifications, they executed a crew swap late last year at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story.
“Crew 108 Sailors are thrilled to finally arrive in our new homeport and reunite with our families,” said Cmdr. Kevin Ralston, Milwaukee commanding officer. “It's been a long journey to get here, but I couldn't be happier with my crew's performance and their efforts to get Milwaukee ready for sea."
In addition to a support staff ashore, Milwaukee will be fully manned with about 50 personnel on board who will leverage modern voyage navigation and engineering control technology. At the BAE shipyard, she will take on equipment for underway testing this spring, before eventually arriving in her San Diego homeport.
Mayport is scheduled to be the home of eight Freedom variant littoral combat ships and 12 LCS crews, starting with USS Little Rock (LCS 9).
The Freedom variant features high-speed, agile, shallow-draft, and networked surface ships that are open-ocean capable, but are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespaces. These ships bring great capability and flexibility to the Surface Fleet.