By Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Public Affairs

U.S. government and senior U.S. Navy officials, along with several local distinguished visitors, held a ceremony here today to officially welcome USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) and USS Detroit (LCS 7) to Naval Station (NS) Mayport.  

Local U.S. Congressmen Ander Crenshaw; Rear Adm. Sean Buck, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command; and Capt. Paul Young, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) Two participated in the ceremony officially welcoming the ships to Mayport. 

The littoral combat ships' (LCS) homeport officially shifted here from San Diego Dec. 22. 

NS Mayport will eventually become the home for all of the Navy's Freedom variant LCSs, with Milwaukee and Detroit leading the way for LCSRON Two, which was stood up just over two years ago.

"The entire waterfront is excited to add Milwaukee and Detroit to the Mayport Basin, but none more so than Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two (LCSRON 2)," said Capt. Paul Young, who leads the squadron. "This team is ready to commence LCS operations in earnest from the east coast."

Milwaukee was commissioned Nov. 21, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

 Since arriving in Mayport Feb.19, 2016, the ship's crew has successfully completed full-ship shock trials and is currently undergoing a planned maintenance availability at BAE Shipyard. 

Detroit was commissioned Oct. 22, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan.  On Nov. 23, 2016, she arrived at Naval Station Mayport, where she has been conducting her combat systems ship qualification testing (CSSQT).

Slated to following them over the course of the next year are USS Little Rock (LCS 9); USS Sioux City (LCS 11) and USS Wichita, LCS 13), all of which are yet to be commissioned.  

The design for these ships is a semi-planning steel monohull with an aluminum superstructure built in Marinette, Wisconsin by Lockheed Martin.  Milwaukee is the third and Detroit is the fourth LCS of the Freedom class.  They follow USS Freedom (LCS 1), the class lead, and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). The Navy has proposed that Freedom and Fort Worth be reassigned to Mayport as well, where they will take on most of the crew training.

LCS vessels were designed to be high-speed, shallow draft multi-mission ships capable of operating independently or with a strike group. 

They are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.  

A fast, maneuverable and networked surface-combatant, LCSs provide the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

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