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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Littoral Combat Ship USS Milwaukee Decommissioned

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 11, 2023

USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) (Photo: U.S. Navy)

USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) has been decommissioned after less than eight years of naval service.

The U.S. Navy has been scrapping its fleet of littoral combat ships—including both its Freedom and Independence variants. The latest to get the axe, USS Milwaukee, was decommissioned in Mayport, Fla. on September 8.

During the ceremony guest speaker, Vice Adm. Dirk Debbink (USN, Ret), former chairman of Milwaukee’s commissioning committee wished the crew of Milwaukee fair winds and following seas as they bid farewell to their ship.

“We are all very proud of the way this ship served our Navy and our nation since that cold day in November 2015,” Debbink said. “She was the first true serial production ship of the Freedom Class, having incorporated literally hundreds of changes, lessons learned from Freedom and Fort Worth.”

Designed by Lockheed Martin and constructed by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis., USS Milwaukee was commissioned in November 2015. 

During the ship’s time in service, Milwaukee and its sailors completed two successful deployments in April 2022 and June 2023. The ship deployed to U.S. Fourth Fleet and integrated with the embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), other U.S. warships, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and SOUTHCOM/JIATF-S. During their second deployment, Milwaukee and its embarked LEDETs, seized an estimated $30 million in suspected cocaine and three detainees during interdictions as sea, preventing 954kgs of cocaine from entering the United States. The ship also transported six detainees and case packages on behalf of USCGC Bear in support of the counter-narcotic/interdiction mission. While deployed, Milwaukee provided maritime security presence enabling the free flow of commerce in key corridors of trade.

“Throughout the life of the ship, the sailors that sailed Milwaukee led the way in training and operations that led to fleet improvements and culminated with operational success that supported national security objectives and demonstrated U.S. commitment to our allies.” said Cmdr. Jason Knox, Milwaukee’s commanding officer. “Not only can her sailors be proud of their distinctive accomplishments, but the City of Milwaukee, Wis. can be proud of their ship, too.”

Upon decommissioning, Milwaukee’s sailors will receive follow-on orders to new assignments.