SAN DIEGO – Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) arrived at its new homeport of San Diego, Sept. 22.
Jackson transited to San Diego from Mayport, Florida almost two months ahead of schedule, following the successful execution of Full Ship Shock Trials and post-shock maintenance and repairs.
“It is not only a testament to the entire crew, but more importantly, it is a testament to the true sustainability and capability of this amazing warship,” said Jackson Commanding Officer Cmdr. Troy Fendrick.
With the shock trials under their belts, the Jackson crew has been looking forward to arriving in San Diego.
“It has been a long six months,” said Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate David Vasquez. “The crew has worked long and hard to get the ship through shock trials and repairs for her to sail around to San Diego.”
“To bring the ship to its homeport of San Diego two months early is a testament to the Sailors hard work and determination,” said Senior Chief Operations Specialist Timothy Clipp.
During transit, Jackson made a brief refueling stop at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay before making passage through the Panama Canal.
“The engineering and execution of ships transiting through the Panama Canal is amazing, and transiting it was one of the best experiences of my entire life,” said Clipp.
After transiting the canal, the ship conducted a port visit in Balboa, Panama where several Sailors participated in a community service project, joining service members from National Air and Navy Service of Panama to paint a new basketball court at a local school.
Continuing their journey, Jackson pulled into Manzanillo, Mexico for a three-day liberty call and held a chief pinning ceremony to celebrate the advancement of three first class petty officers to the rank of chief petty officer.
According to Fendrick, port visits with partner nations enhance interoperability and were critical to maintaining access while building enduring partnerships that will foster regional security.
“The journey from Mayport to San Diego was very adventurous, but my favorite part about this was being able to be a part of the crew and bringing back the ship to her homeport,” said Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Benjamin Gutierrez. “It is a huge milestone in the littoral combat ship community.”
Fendrick said delivering the ship to its homeport was a tremendous honor.
“This is something the crew is very proud of and to be able to do so with our friends and family waiting on the pier makes the experience that much more memorable,” said Fendrick.
A fast, agile, and high-technology surface combatant, Jackson will act as a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles. Its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis.