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March 10, 2017 / iDriveWarships

Littoral Combat Ship Core Crews and Mission Detachments Merge

SAN DIEGO (March 3, 2017) USS Jackson (LCS 6) is pierside during sunset. Jackson is an Independence-variant littoral combat ship homeported in San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Miranda V. Williams/Released) 170301-N-BL450-011

SAN DIEGO (March 3, 2017) USS Jackson (LCS 6) is pierside during sunset. Jackson is an Independence-variant littoral combat ship homeported in San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Miranda V. Williams/Released) 170301-N-BL450-011

Guest Blog By Ensign Emily Judstra, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One Public Affairs

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program completed the first nine core crew and mission package detachment mergers this month. The mergers are being implemented based on recommendations made during a 2016 Chief of Naval Operations-directed review of the LCS program; merging the core crew and mission detachment crew into a single crew of 70 Sailors will improve enlisted rating utilization, create crew stability, and reduce complexity for LCS Sailors.

“The merger enables our Sailors to become experts in their mission areas and assigned duties while minimizing the potential for Sailor burn-out we saw in the initial minimal manning concept,” said Lt. Cmdr. Justin Golson, director of mission packages at Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One.

The initial LCS operational concept called for minimally manned crews to rotate on and off hull, while being supplemented by modular mission packages and accompanying rotating mission package detachments. The review team determined ships should retain a single-mission focus and merge core crews and mission detachments, promoting increased stability, ownership, reliability and operational capability.

PACIFIC OCEAN (December 8, 2016) The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) steams off the coast of San Diego. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ace Rheaume) 161208-N-SI773-0442

PACIFIC OCEAN (December 8, 2016) The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) steams off the coast of San Diego. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ace Rheaume) 161208-N-SI773-0442

“This merger does change the concept of operations for littoral combat ships operating forward, however it does not decrease the operational capability of the ships,” said Golson.

Although the crew-detachment merger has LCS crews transitioning toward a single mission focus, the LCS program, as a whole, will retain its modularity. In the event that a different mission package is required for an operational requirement, either an entirely different configured LCS will be employed, or the original designated ship will embark a new mission package and appropriately qualified crew.

As the LCS program steps into a new realm of operations, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One, Capt. Jordy Harrison said that the future of the LCS program looks promising.

“The commitment and dedication to the success of the program is stronger than ever and we are continually looking for ways to improve,” said Harrison. “The mission detachment and core crew merger is just the first in many steps to ensure that LCS becomes the fast, agile, and lethal fighting force that is was designed to be. This is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning for one our Navy’s newest and most exciting ship classes.”

All LCS crew and detachment mergers are scheduled for completion by 2021.

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