CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Littoral combat ship (LCS) Crew 111 was formally commissioned during a ceremony at Tidelands Park in Coronado, Nov. 20.
"This is an exciting moment for us because we have worked hard as a team to reach this point," said Lt. Alex Stout, LCS Crew 111's navigation officer.
Prior to the ceremony, LCS Crew 111 Sailors were qualified through various trainings and schools throughout the U.S. in order to prepare for their duties as a rotational LCS crew.
The crew will report aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1) in December to conduct operational training, maintenance and combat systems certifications at sea to validate the ship and crew are ready for follow-on missions.
A recent change in policy allows new LCS crews to be commissioned before going on hull. LCS Crew 111 follows LCS Crew 212, which was commissioned Oct. 10 during a ceremony in San Diego.
Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (SW) James Rutherford, an LCS Crew 111 member, said he feels like the crew is finally a family and he is eager to be involved at an operational level.
"I am excited to embark on the USS Freedom and I look forward to the challenges we will overcome as a team and as a family," said Rutherford.