It’s official, first four LCSs headed to “Red Lead Row.” Why not Blow Row?
As we have talked about previously, the first flight littoral combat ships (Freedom, Independence, Fort Worth, and Coronado) have been deemed too beta to be upgraded enough for regular fleet use. In a burst from the CNO last month, the word is now official: all four will be shifted to OCIR status (Out of Commission, In Reserve) on 31 March 2021, with the youngest, Coronado, being just six years old.
In a case of bad timing, the Navy’s PAO just released this very well done “A Day in the Life of an LCS” video, filmed on the new Freedom-class USS Indianapolis (LCS 17).
Notably, the three Cyclone-class 170-foot patrol craft not up to their neck in the Persian Gulf (USS Zephyr PC-8, USS Shamal PC-13, and USS Tornado PC-14) are also to be disposed of on the same date.
The other 10 craft has been at Bahrain for most of the past decade while Zephyr, Shamal, and Tornado– two of which were formerly Coast Guard-manned out of Pascagoula’s old NAVSTA– have been based in Mayport under 4th Fleet’s control– just about the only Navy vessels that are regularly outside of ships transiting through or on training evolutions.
This of course begs the question of, why not give the “old” LCSs to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT)? Call em PCs? Get some tax dollars out of them.
Is this where I point out that the lastest 4th Fleet deployments have surged DDGs? Wait, wasn’t the LCS program designed to prevent billion-dollar Aegis ships from being used in constabulary work?