The littoral combat ship USS Forth Worth underway. Navy photo

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth arrived in Busan, Korea, over the weekend during her maiden 16-month rotational deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The port visit comes after Fort Worth’s inaugural participation in Exercise Foal Eagle, in which the ship conducted bilateral training with the Republic of Korea navy and the guided-missile destroyers USS Michael Murphy, USS John S. McCain and USS Lassen.

“With Fort Worth’s participation in Foal Eagle, the presence of littoral combat ships is becoming more routine throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific, and this exercise was a crucial first test as we integrate Fort Worth and future littoral combat ships into 7th Fleet exercises and operations,” said Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander of Task Force 70.

The new class of littoral combat ships are designed to operate in a wide variety of maritime environments including near the shore and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare. A total of 52 ships are planned.

Fort Worth is deployed with the surface warfare mission package and has a crew of about 100. The ship’s armament includes a helicopter squadron, the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system, a 57mm gun, rolling airframe missile launcher, two 30mm guns and two 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.