US Navy to Commission Littoral Combat Ship
The Navy is to commission the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship Fort Worth (LCS 3) in a ceremony at the Port of Galveston, Texas.
Fort Worth, the third LCS delivered to the Navy and the second of the steel, semi-planing monohull Freedom variant, is designed to operate quickly in shallow water littoral environments to counter challenging threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft. The Fort Worth will maintain a forward presence and deter hostility while projecting power and maintaining sea control.
A fast, agile, and innovative surface combatant, LCS 3 is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Fort Worth will be a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles, serving to enhance maritime security and performing the core capabilities that define the Navy. 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.
Fort Worth will be manned by one of two rotational crews and augmented by one of three mission package crews during focused mission assignments. The prospective commanding officer of the Blue crew is Cmdr. James R. Blankenship, from Ironton, Ohio. The prospective commanding officer of the Gold crew is Cmdr. Warren E. Cupps, from Fort Worth, Texas.
The ship's name honors the city of Fort Worth, Texas, which has supported the U.S. military as home to ranger outposts, training facilities, aviation depots, and defense manufacturing for more than 140 years. Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, the ship's sponsor, will give the command to "man our ship and bring her to life" during the ceremony.