Production is ramping up in the world of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program with 12 currently under construction. Saturday, USS Milwaukee joined the fleet as the U.S. Navy’s newest commissioned warship. In commemoration, here are seven things you might not know about the ship.
- On Sept. 13, 2011, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus officially announced Milwaukee was chosen for the name of a future LCS. “In naming this proud ship USS Milwaukee, it is my intent to honor you, the hard working people of Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin, to honor your state, and to honor all you do to keep America strong,” he said.
- Milwaukee is America’s fifth LCS and the third Freedom–class LCS. She was built at the Lockheed Martin shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin just three hours north of her namesake city.
- Milwaukee is one of only a handful a naval ships to ever be commissioned in her namesake city, which is also in the state where she was built. Her ceremony was held in Milwaukee’s Veterans Park on Lake Michigan, where despite it being 20 degrees, snowy and windy, more than 4,000 people attended the ceremony.
- Milwaukee is the fifth ship of the name in U.S. naval history and Milwaukee city Mayor Tom Barrett said at her commissioning, “This ship, which will be a tough ship, a gritty ship, a ship that fights back, and a ship that loves our nation is baring the right name at the right time.”
- The ship’s sponsor Sylvia Panetta, wife of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, called for Sailors to, “Man our ship and bring her to life,” before crewmembers boarded the ship and watchstanders took their positions.
- A core crew of 40 Sailors will man the ship, though she’ll carry more when the full mission crew is on board.
- Now that she’s commissioned and an active part of the Navy’s fleet of ships, she will sail to her new homeport, San Diego.
While we’re happy to help welcome USS Milwaukee to the fleet, her title of newest ship in the Navy won’t last long. In just a few weeks, the future USS Jackson (LCS 6) will be commissioned into service in a Dec. 5 ceremony in Gulfport, Miss.
MILWAUKEE — Nov. 21, 2015 — ADM Michelle Howard speaks during the commissioning of USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) November 21, 2015 in Milwaukee. USS Milwaukee, the third Freedom class littoral combat ship, is designed to operate in shallow and coastal waters throughout the world. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lange)
MILWAUKEE — Nov. 21, 2015 — Sailors from the USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) stand in formation during the commissioning of the ship on November 21, in Milwaukee. USS Milwaukee, the third Freedom class littoral combat ship, is designed to operate in shallow and coastal waters throughout the world. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lange)
The turnover marks the end of a deployment for Crew 102 and the beginning of one for Crew 101.
Keeping a ship deployed and rotating the crew is a new practice in the surface fleet. Traditionally speaking, U.S. Navy Sailors crew a ship and take it on deployment for 6+ months before returning home for a dwell period. However, that’s not the plan for the Littoral Combat Ship.
Fort Worth is the first littoral combat ship to use the operational “3-2-1” manning concept, where three crews rotate between two ships with one ship continuously deployed. This approach allows a ship to maintain a 16-month forward deployed presence throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region without fatiguing the crew with an extended deployment. It also allows an LCS to be deployed for more than two times the typical deployment duration.
LCSs are high-speed, maneuverable, mission-focused ships designed to operate in near-shore (littoral) environments and provide maximized operational availability, or forward presence. They also offer a range of warfighting flexibility through the use of various modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare (SUW), mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare.
Fort Worth will use the surface warfare mission package for the duration of its deployment, augmenting the 57mm gun and rolling airframe missile launcher with two 30mm guns, two 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats and two six-member maritime security boarding teams.
Crew 101 consists of about 100 Sailors, including some Sailors from HSM-35, Detachment 1 and SUW Mission Package, Detachment 6. Soon the fresh crew will start Initial Ship Aviation Team Training and then head out for its first scheduled exercise, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training with Cambodia.
Future LCS ships deployed to the Indo-Asia Pacific area will use the same 3-2-1 manning concept and continue to offer enhanced U.S. Navy presence throughout the region.
SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 11, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] guided-missile frigate Yancheng (FFG 546) transits close behind. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto/Released)
On Wednesday, please take a moment to honor veterans of our great nation through words or gestures of appreciation on Veterans Day. This federal holiday isn’t just a time for companies to offer freebies – though we know our veterans love them! Historically, it’s an official day to honor living veterans who either currently serve or who have previously served in any branch of the American armed forces. This is in contrast to Memorial Day, which remembers our veterans who died while serving our nation in uniform.
What we now know as Veterans Day was originally celebrated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919. This celebration was meant to recognize those who died in “the war to end all wars,” and give thanks for the victory yielded through an armistice (a temporary cessation of hostilities) signed on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918. Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law on Oct. 8, 1954. This change was due to a shift in focus from honoring World War I veterans to honoring American veterans of all wars.
While we as a nation daily enjoy the freedom brave men and women have secured and maintained, Nov. 11th is an especially poignant day on which to honor them. As you spend the day honoring the veterans among us, please keep in mind that while there are many healthy veterans, there are also many who struggle every day to cope with the impact their service has had on them.
Whether left with physical or emotional scarring, a simple and heartfelt “Thank you,” a note acknowledging their sacrifices, or a free meal can go a long way toward helping them get through the day. That one small act (#1SmallAct) of kindness could stop them from becoming one of the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day. So, even if you don’t volunteer with veterans groups year-round, make it a point, at least on Veteran’s Day, to thank a veteran (#ThankAVet) for protecting your rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We’d love to hear from you! Please share what you’ve done to honor a veteran lately in our comments section or post it to Twitter with #ThankAVet and/or #IDriveWarships.
In this day and age we all know the importance of going “green” and trying to conserve energy both at work and at home, but how exactly does that apply to the U.S. Navy? The power and presence of the Navy are fundamentally tied to the availability of reliable energy sources to accomplish its missions. In order to provide and maintain such access, the Navy is deploying next-generation capabilities to help bolster combat effectiveness, maximize strategic options, and better protect our Sailors.
With that in mind, President Obama has proclaimed October to be Energy Action Month. This focus is meant to highlight how critical it is for Sailors and Marines to look for ways to optimize their energy use in order to boost warfighting capabilities. As Energy Action Month comes to a close, here’s a peek at some of what the Navy is doing to focus on energy practices and give life to the Great Green Fleet.
- By 2020 the Navy aims to reach Secretary of the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ goal of getting 50 percent of our total energy consumption from alternative sources.
- To save energy while transiting, ships will use new software to determine the optimum speed and plant alignment along with Optimum Track Ship Routing and Tactical Environmental Support System data, or Smart Voyage Planning (SVP) to set the safest and most efficient routes.
- The Department of the Navy (DoN) demonstrated alternative fuel blends on all ships and aircraft that participated in the 2012 Rim of the Pacific exercise. Ship and air systems operating with alternative fuel blends performed at full capability during the exercise. Planning is underway to deploy the Great Green Fleet in 2016.
- DoN has issued policy guidance concerning the use of energy-related factors in acquisition planning, technology development, and source selections for platforms and weapons systems.
Ultimately, the Navy is adopting alternative energy resources for a multitude of long-term benefits. Not only will it help shield the Navy from volatile energy prices and reduce the amount of time our ships are tied to oilers at sea, but alternative energy sources also encourage environmentally responsible technologies afloat and ashore, as well as creating a sustainable model for national defense. These strategies will help the Navy ensure a safe world for future generations, and also a healthier one as global sustainability increases through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower dependence on fossil fuels. Most importantly, energy diversification will help the Navy successfully complete missions and allow for the effective deployment of next-generation systems, like directed energy weapons and the rail gun, all while giving the Navy operational flexibility through increased range, endurance, and payload.
Receiving a care package while deployed is like opening a much-anticipated gift when you’re a child. As soon as you hear your name at mail call and a box is thrown your way, you can’t help but get giddy from the promise of the goodies that are surely inside. So, in recognition of next Monday’s National Day of the Deployed, and in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, we present you with DIY: Best Care Package Ever.
- Create a list of all the stuff you think you might want to send your loved one. Next, edit the list based on where they’re deployed. It’s probably a bad idea to send things like candy or other things that melt to the Middle East. Service members who are deployed “boots on ground” might appreciate bug repellant bracelets while those deployed on a ship may have little need for them.
- Pick-up a box or two from the post office and gather all the things you want to send. Flat rate boxes are economical and can fit a ton of small items. You can either pay when you pick-up the box or when you send it – just make sure it gets stamped properly if you prepay. Deployments can be long, lonely, and akin to Groundhog Day, so think both practically and comically. However, remember to only send items that are appropriate, safe, and won’t cause problems for your deployed Sailor.
- OPTIONAL: Wrap the care package from the inside out like in this video. This makes it even more fun to open. You could use wrapping paper or comics from the newspaper.
- Where possible, remove items from bulky packaging so they’ll take up less space in your shipping box. Consider sending separate packages for food and hygiene; receiving soap-coated candy would be a real bummer! If including both in one box, use plastic bags to sort everything and catch potential leaks. You may need to pack and repack the box a few times to maximize what you can send. Also, packing things from most-to-least important makes it easier to stop when the box is full. Don’t overstuff the box or the post office may refuse it. If you can’t fit everything save it for next time- another great reason to pick up more than one box at a time!
- Now seal up your box, send it on its way, and let your Sailor know it’s coming so they can look forward to mail call. Check out this [http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=91044] handy article for information on when to post things so they reach your loved ones before the holidays.
It’s never too early to start stashing items for your next care package and never too early to send another. It’s also nice to include a few small things that your Sailor can share with those who don’t receive a box of their own. Visit this website if you’d like to show your support for Sailors who don’t have someone back home who can send them a care package. You can also help through programs like this, or this, or a host of others you can find online if you search “adopt a Sailor to send care packages to.”
Care package ideas:
Hot sauce, ketchup and BBQ sauce (fast foods place packets don’t take up much space) Small toys (stress balls, footballs, Frisbee’s, Hot Wheels, back of door basketball hoops) Non-perishable single serving items (cereal, rice crispy treats, snack bars, noodles) Hand sanitizer (bottles, sprays or wipes are all excellent) Regional specialties (Dill pickle flavored chips anyone?) Homemade DVDs of events/messages Photos, artwork, handwritten letters Beverage flavor powder packets Sunflower seeds or other nuts Hygiene/cosmetic items Holiday décor/trinkets Hard candy and mints Popcorn packs Peanut butter Video games DVD movies Seasonings Magazines Wet wipes Trail mix Books Jerky
SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 21, 2011) Aviation ElectricianÕs Mate 2nd Class Ross Suchman, from Belleville, Ill., reads a letter aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) thanking him for his service from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor. Volunteers from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor sent more than 130 care packages and party supplies to Sailors assigned to the Saberhawks of Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron (HSM) 77. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy/Released) 10221-N-ZN781-022
SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 21, 2011) Aviation ElectricianÕs Mate Airman David Coley, from Rocky Mount, N.C., reads a letter aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) thanking him for his service from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor. Volunteers from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor sent more than 130 care packages and party supplies to Sailors assigned to the Saberhawks of Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron (HSM) 77. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy/Released) 110221-N-ZN781-023
If you’ve ever wanted to tour a U.S. Navy warship, you’ve got a chance this weekend! Following in the wake of the Navy’s 240th birthday on Tuesday, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) is in town and will be giving free tours to the public as a way to celebrate and engage the greater San Diego community.
The Navy prides itself in being where it matters, when it matters. Whether operating in the Arabian Gulf, forward deployed in the western Pacific or here offering tours in San Diego.
The ship will moor at Broadway Pier, located at the intersection of Broadway and North Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego, and be open for free public tours. This visit will provide the public with an opportunity to see a warship and talk with Sailors.
“This port visit gives us an opportunity to showcase the best destroyer in the Pacific Fleet and the amazing young Americans that make our Navy the best,” said USS Shoup Commanding Officer Cmdr. Bryant Trost. “Our Sailors are definitely looking forward to getting out and experiencing some of America’s finest city.”
The ship will be open for public tours on Sat., Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m., and on Sun., Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. In addition to the tours there will be static displays, USS Shoup merchandise for sale (don’t forget to bring cash as they can’t accept credit cards), and plenty of Sailors on hand to answer questions.
USS Shoup, homeported in Everett, Wash., is the 36th Arleigh Burke-class of Aegis guided-missile destroyers. The ship was commissioned in Seattle on June 22, 2002 and was built to conduct simultaneous warfare operations in multi-threat environments to include air, surface, and subsurface targets.
America’s Navy is made up of more than 325,000 active duty Sailors, more than 100,000 naval reservists, and nearly 200,000 Navy civilians who come together to provide the nation with an incredibly talented all-volunteer force.
For complete details please visit this website and read over all the safety and security guidelines before visiting the ship, as there are some specific limitations.
Guest Blog by: FORCM (SW) Jason E. Wallis
Force Master Chief – U.S. Pacific Fleet
As America labored to be born through the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy force on October 13, 1775, bringing to life what would later be known as the U.S. Navy. The hope was that the small force would be able to intercept the supply of food and weaponry British ships were bringing to their ground forces in the colonies. Eventually, with help from French allies, the Continental Navy began breaking blockades, sinking British ships and scoring timely naval victories.
Since those early days, and with few exceptions, the Navy continues to win key battles and is prepared to defend America. From the humble beginnings of the Continental Navy, with her citizen sailors and privateers, to the current all-volunteer force of Navy Reserve and the regular active duty Navy, America’s Sailors continue to sacrifice, serve and protect our country.
While I’ve only been part of the Navy since 1988, I believe today’s brand of Sailor is as steady in resolve to support and defend the country as the first brave mariners were when they took to sea to fight ships of the larger, more organized, better equipped British fleet. Although we’ve come a long way from the days of wooden ships, cannonballs and wind-in-sail propulsion, the American Sailor’s sense of determination to accomplish the mission remains. I believe the indomitable can-do spirit of our current Sailors and the Navy’s love of technology and innovative solutions can trace its roots to the determination exhibited and forged during our Navy’s formative years.
As we look back at the Navy’s successful and storied life, I’m honored that I’ve been able to call myself a U.S. Navy Sailor. I may have only laid witness to a small percentage of the Navy’s lifespan, but I’ve done it by dedicating a larger portion of my life to its success. In the past 240 years, times and the Navy have changed. Fortunately, the character and motivation of its Sailors have not. We are not just Sailors. We are a team and a community of men and women of varied technical skills and abilities, all working together – and the beauty is that we are all volunteers who are here because we want to serve something greater than ourselves. All this and what I’ve seen in my time has assured me that, without a doubt, our Navy was ready then, is ready now, and will continue to remain ready always.
To learn more about U.S. Navy history and celebrate the 240th birthday see this: