LCS 7 Detroit Side Launch

The Navy announced on Wednesday that future littoral combat ships USS Detroit and USS Montgomery will make Naval Base San Diego their home port once they’re commissioned next summer.

The USS Detroit is a Freedom-class LCS being built at Marinette Marine Shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. Montgomery is an Independence class version under construction at Austal USA shipyards in Mobile, Alabama.

The vessels, which are fast, agile and can be outfitted for a variety of missions, are being stationed in San Diego as part of the Navy’s shifting focus to Asia and the Pacific Ocean. By 2020, about 60 percent of all the service’s ships and aircraft will be based in the region, according to the Navy.

The LCS program has come under close scrutiny by Congress and military brass thanks to numerous breakdowns and reports that it takes longer to outfit the vessels with its different mission modules than the 72 hours that had been promised.

Earlier this month, the newly commissioned USS Milwaukee suffered a failure in its propulsion system while sailing down the East Coast to Florida. It had to be towed back to Virginia, and the U.S. Naval Institute reported that repairs could extend into February.

The Milwaukee also plans to make San Diego its future home. An LCS already based in San Diego, the USS Fort Worth, has been deployed in Southeast Asia since November 2014, and should return next year. The Navy rotates crews every four months on an LCS.

— City News Service