Freedom on the ropes with bad diesel

150428-N-TC437-320 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 28, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) transits alongside the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in preparation for a replenishment-at-sea training exercise. U.S. Navy ships are underway conducting an independent deployer certification exercise off the coast of Southern California. The exercise provides a multi-ship environment to train and certify independent deployers in surface warfare, air defense, maritime-interception operations, command and control/information warfare, command, control, computers and combat systems intelligence and mine warfare. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez/Released)

150428-N-TC437-320 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 28, 2015) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) transits alongside the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in preparation for a replenishment-at-sea training exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez/Released)

And the hits keep coming on the Navy’s LCS program!

In the past several months there have been a number of high-profile incidents that left brand new Freedom-class littoral combat ships limping into port for extensive repair. Last December, USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) was sidelined for weeks to repair an engine casualty that occurred during an Atlantic Ocean transit that left her in need of a tow to Little Creek. Prior to that USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) was left tied to her pier in Singapore for seven months until new bearings could be installed in her combining gear.

Now, it’s Freedom‘s turn.

From the Navy’s presser:

USS Freedom (LCS 1) experienced a casualty to one of the ship’s main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE) on July 11 caused by a leak from the attached seawater pump mechanical seal that resulted in seawater entering the engine lube oil system.

The crew took action to address the leak, and Freedom returned to homeport July 13 on her own power to conduct repairs on a separate, unrelated issue. While in port, the crew performed seawater contamination procedures. From July 19-28, the ship returned to sea to complete its portion of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise using gas turbine engines rather than its MPDEs.

Upon returning to port, Southwest Regional Maintenance Center’s Diesel Engine Inspector (SWRMC DEI) conducted a diesel engine inspection of USS Freedom’s #2 MPDE on August 3 and found significant damage to the engine caused by rust and seawater. Based on initial assessments from the inspection, Freedom’s #2 MPDE will need to be removed and rebuilt or replaced. The cost and timeline for the repair of the engine are unknown at this time. An investigation by Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) is underway to determine the definitive cause of the casualty and examine all relevant elements of training and supervision.

“Given the engineering casualties on USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, I believe improvements in engineering oversight and training are necessary,” said Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “The recently completed LCS Review of manning, design, and training looked at a number of sailor performance and ownership factors, to include crew rotation, size and proficiency. From this work, I believe we will be able to make immediate changes to help reduce chance for future operator error. I am fully committed to ensuring that our ships and the Sailors who man them have the proper tools and training they need to safely and effectively operate these ships.”

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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