NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO -- Littoral Combat Ship Crew 103 became the permanent USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) crew during an exchange of command ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, September 22, a date that also marked the five year anniversary of Fort Worth’s commissioning.
The exchange of command ceremony marked the end of Fort Worth’s rotating crew concept, merging the core crews and mission module detachments into a single fused crew of approximately 70 personnel. These changes are a result of the 2016 LCS 60-day study, making Fort Worth a single crew test ship – an effort to enhance simplicity, stability, and ownership of LCS by creating processes that are repeatable, sustainable, and predictable for the LCS community.
Cmdr. Spencer P. Austin, commanding officer of LCS Crew 101 and native of Knotts Island, North Carolina, turned over command of Fort Worth to Cmdr. Antonio L. Hyde, commanding officer of LCS Crew 103 and native of Chicago, Illinois.
Hyde remarked on the strength of character and dedication of his crew, noting that they were proud to take ownership of one of the original littoral combat ships.
“It is a true honor and privilege for my crew to have the opportunity to permanently man the mighty USS Fort Worth. We are excited to continue her legacy of excellence in our new role as one of the Navy’s premier test ships. We are also elated to be able to strengthen our namesake city bond with our family in the great city of Fort Worth. They are absolutely our #1 fans and we are going to continue to do our best to make them proud of the crew, their ship, and our outstanding U.S. Navy,” said Cmdr. Hyde.
Members of the USS Fort Worth’s commissioning committee and other Fort Worth, Texas city leaders were in attendance, including Councilman Dennis Shingleton, Fort Worth City Council District 7 and USS Fort Worth Support Committee Board of Directors member Jenna Sykes.
Since Fort Worth’s commissioning in 2012, five crews have served aboard the Freedom variant ship, LCS Crew 101, 102, 103, 104 and 111, as part of the rotating crew concept. The date of the ceremony is not the only significant thing about this exchange of command, however. LCS Crew 103 was the Crew that commissioned USS Fort Worth on September 22, 2012.
“LCS Crew 101 has worked incredibly hard over the last six months to ensure that my crew and Fort Worth are set up for success. I am certain their hard work and dedication will translate directly to our mission success,” said Cmdr. Hyde.
For more news from Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lcsron1/Pages/default.aspx