The former Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 30 in preparations to be towed to Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility Bremerton. Freedom was decommissioned after more than 10 years of service. U.S. Navy photo.
First Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom, decomissioned
by Heather Mongilio, USNI News
The Navy decommissioned the first Littoral Combat Ship with more than a decade of naval service last week.
USS Freedom (LCS-1) was decommissioned on Sept. 29 at Naval Base San Diego after 13 years in the fleet. The decommissioning service was limited to ship plankowners and former crew members due to safety measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Freedom will join the reserve fleet now that it’s decommissioned, a Navy official previously told USNI News. It is the second Littoral Combat Ship the Navy has decommissioned.
The Navy proposed decommissioning the first four LCS in its Fiscal Year 2021 budget submission as a cost-saving measure. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday at the time said it would cost approximately $2.5 billion to update the four ships, arguing the Navy should spend that money on new platforms.
The Navy is also looking to decommission four other LCS in order to save money. The ships facing decommissioning are three Freedom-class variants — USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), USS Detroit (LCS-7) and USS Little Rock (LCS-9) — and the second Independence-class aluminum trimaran USS Coronado (LCS-4).
However, the House Appropriations Committee defense subcommittee’s draft of the Fiscal Year 2022 defense spending bill cuts development funding for the Navy’s Navy’s ship-launched nuclear cruise missile, which would prevent the service from decommissioning the Freedom-class LCSs.
The proposal to decommission LCSs early has angered some lawmakers, including Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), who questioned the Navy’s acquisition of LCSs and decommissioning them early. Little Rock, the youngest of the three Freedom-class LCSs considered for decommissioning, was commissioned in 2017.
USS Independence (LCS-2) decommissioned on July 31 after 11 years in the fleet. Like Freedom, its decommissioning ceremony was not open to the public due to the pandemic.
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Military News | Navy News | LCS USS Freedom decomissioned