Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Crew members from the San Diego-based USS Freedom are getting a chance to stretch their sea legs during a port visit to Hawaii that began March 11.
Honolulu television station KITV4 sent journalist Ryan Kalei Tsuji to report live from both the deck and inside the Freedom yesterday morning. He interviewed several members of the crew. I've posted that video up top.
The Freedom is the Navy's first littoral combat ship, and she's on her maiden deployment. Cmdr. Timothy Wilke, USS Freedom commanding officer, explained to Public Affairs Support Element West exactly what makes a littoral combat ship so unique:
"This vessel, the littoral combat ship, is really designed for operating in the littoral shores of the land, what we commonly refer to as brown water. It does have a capability to operate in blue water, but it's mainly focused on bridging that gap of what we have in our ship class right now."
After her stop in Hawaii, the Freedom will continue on to an eight-month deployment in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Navy plans to keep the Freedom in the region for eight months, though its San Diego-based crew will rotate out after four. Another crew will serve the rest of the deployment and take the ship back home to California.