Last week USS Coronado (LCS 4) demonstrated the ability to rapidly stage and deploy a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) ground unit. Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadrons 469 and 303 conducted day and night deck-landing qualifications in preparation for an airborne raid of Marines from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion onboard USS Coronado.
The ship’s inherent qualities, including speeds in excess of 40 knots, its large flight deck and reconfigurable mission bay, proved that littoral combat ships (LCS) can provide the Navy and USMC with significant operational flexibility anywhere in the world.
Independence-variant LCS’ offer a variety of air and small-boat employment and delivery options for USMC ground and air tactical units, and ample space to embark a small USMC ground unit—even with an embarked mission module. On this platform, UH-1Y and AH-1W helicopter operations are fully supportable.