Monday, November 18, 2013
The USS Freedom — home ported in San Diego — is one of three ships heading to the Philippines to provide humanitarian aid in the wake of Tyhpoon Haiyan.
The amphibious ships will replace the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, as their smaller size makes them more useful in providing disaster relief, according to Stars and Stripes.
The Freedom arrived at Brunei's port of Muara on Monday, after leaving Singapore. Logistics Group Western Pacific Public Affairs reports crew members are stocking the ship with supplies and fuel before departing for the Philippines to take part in Operation Damayan.
Aboard the USS Freedom is a MH-60R helicopter, which will be critical in providing food and medical supplies to the devastated country. Hospital Corpsman Chief Blair Taylor said of the mission:
"It's a tremendous opportunity to join our ships and those from other navies that are already in the Philippines providing relief. We are prepared to help out in any way possible."
The USS Freedom is the Navy's first littoral combat ship. The LCS is designed to be highly maneuverable in shallow and coastal waters.