PACIFIC OCEAN - USS Montgomery (LCS 8) completed Final Contract Trials on March 17, marking the completion of the construction and initial operating testing of the Navy’s eighth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).
The trial, administered by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey, is part of a series of post-delivery test and trial events through which the ship and its major systems are exercised. The five-day trials began with pre-underway and material condition checks followed by at-sea demonstrations. Trial highlights included combat systems air and surface detect-to-engage scenarios, 57mm gun firing exercises, maneuvering testing and operation of the twin boom extendable crane.
“I am exceptionally proud of the USS Montgomery team and the combined efforts of the blue and gold crews, Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ship (PEO LCS), Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE, and all of the other contributors who worked to create this successful outcome,” said Commander Mark Stefanik, Montgomery’s commanding officer. “Montgomery has continued to raise the bar and we are looking forward to her next challenge and a successful introduction to fleet operations.”
Several government and private agencies supported the trials led by PEO LCS; industry partners included Austal USA and General Dynamics Mission Systems, and logistical support was provided by Southwest Regional Maintenance Center. Additionally, in a move to the blue and gold crewing construct, Montgomery Blue Crew, currently in an off-hull status, successfully demonstrated the support a Blue-Gold model provides.
"Montgomery is our ship, both blue and gold crews, and we continue that legacy even while off hull," said Commander Daniel Straub, Montgomery blue crew commanding officer. "We put a lot of hard work and sweat equity into the ship during the pre-commissioning phase, commissioning, and sail-around to homeport San Diego. Our commitment to the ship remains constant whether on-hull or off-hull, and we are excited and motivated that we knocked these final contract trials out of the park."
Constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, the Independence-class vessel is the fourth vessel of the trimaran design. Montgomery is preceded by USS Independence (LCS2), USS Coronado (LCS 4), and USS Jackson (LCS 6). Montgomery was christened Nov. 8, 2014, and commissioned on Sept. 10, 2016, in Mobile.
LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. LCS is complementary to the surface fleet, with 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, as well a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.