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September 26, 2012 / iDriveWarships

USS Fort Worth Joins the Fleet

The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) was commissioned on Sept. 22 in the Port of Galveston, Texas. The ship and her crew are now underway to their new homeport of San Diego, Calif.

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.

The ship was officially placed in service by Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mark Ferguson.

For the crew, the commissioning was a culmination of years of hard work. Fort Worth will be manned by one of two rotational crews, blue and gold, similar in concept to the rotational crews assigned to Trident submarines. These core crews will be augmented by mission package crews, as well as an aviation detachment.

The ship’s two commanding officers, Cmdr. Randy Blankenship (blue crew) and Cmdr. Warren Cupps (gold crew) took command, set the first watch, and raised the ensign.

The ship’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12), gave the order to the crew of Fort Worth to “man our ship and bring her to life.”

Fort Worth was christened by Rep. Granger in a ceremony at Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wis. on Dec. 4, 2011. The ship completed builder’s sea trials in Lake Michigan on Oct. 22, 2011, and was delivered to the Navy on June 6, 2012.

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– specificially 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, Fort Worth 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 as needed.

Fort Worth is 390 feet long with a steel mono hull and aluminum structure. It has a displacement of approximately 3,000 metric tons full load and is propelled by four water jets, in addition to two diesel and two gas turbine engines. The ship boasts a range of over 3,500 nautical miles.

To view photos from the Fort Worth commissioning ceremony, click here.

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