The USS Fort Worth sails west of the Korean peninsula during a naval exercise in March. Navy photo

The San Diego-based littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth departed Singapore Thursday after a scheduled maintenance and repair stop partway through a 16-month deployment.

Fort Worth is the first littoral combat ship to deploy under the “3-2-1” manning concept, swapping fully trained crews roughly every four months. It is named 3-2-1 because three rotational crews support two ships, one of which is deployed.

This concept allows Fort Worth, which left San Diego in November, to deploy for twice as long as most Navy ships.

“Dedicated time in the ship’s schedule to attend to maintenance is a key part of the LCS operating concept,” said Cmdr. Michael Desmond, executive officer for Crew 103. “We’re looking forward to completing our remaining underway milestones before turning Fort Worth over to Crew 102 in late May.”

Fort Worth will conduct routine patrols in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations before returning to Singapore for the next crew swap.

The ship is configured for surface warfare with a 57mm gun, rolling-airframe missile launcher, two 30mm guns, a MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter and a MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system.

Littoral combat ships are designed to operate near shore and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare. The Navy is building 52 in two variants.

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Chris Jennewein

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