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Navy Rearranges LCS Crewing, Tests & Deployment Structure

Littoral Combat ShipThe U.S. Navy plans to implement changes to the littoral combat ship program in the next five years to adjust crewing, testing and deployment availability.

The service branch said Thursday the planned changes are based on a commissioned review in March that assessed LCS crewing, training, maintenance and operations.

The Navy added LCS crewing will transition from the 3:2:1 model to the Blue/Gold rotation system used in ballistic missile submarines, patrol craft and minesweepers wherein two separate crews take turns in manning the ship.

Blue/Gold crewing will work to make three out of four ships available for deployment compared with one out of two under 3:2:1, the service branch noted.

LCS personnel will also merge, train and rotate with mission module detachment crews to organize as four-ship divisions of a single warfare area that could either be surface warfare, mine warfare or anti-submarine warfare, the service branch said.

The Navy plans to homeport Independence-variant ships in San Diego and Freedom-variant ships in Mayport, Florida and 24 of the 28 LCS ships will be grouped into six divisions with three divisions on each coast.

Each division will have a single warfare focus and will include Blue/Gold-crewed ships for overseas deployment as well as one single-crewed training ship, the Navy said.

The service branch added the first four LCS ships will be assigned as single-crewed testing ships that will primarily aid testing requirements for the LCS class but could be deployed as fleet assets on a limited basis if needed.

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