By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joe Bishop, USS Fort Worth Public Affairs
CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore (NNS) -- The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) departed from Singapore June 15 to conduct routine operations at-sea following completion of a scheduled preventive maintenance availability (PMAV).
The maintenance period included more than 400 checks of engineering, deck and combat systems.
"During PMAV, the checks are divided into ship's force checks and contractor's checks," said Senior Chief Engineman Clifton Knight. "The contractors arrived at the start of PMAV and performed all their checks within five days."
Compared to other Navy platforms, the littoral combat ship has a relatively small crew. Routine maintenance outside the scope of ship's force ability is conducted during a PMAV, where labor and technical support is supplemented by civilian contractors who perform much of the preventive maintenance schedule (PMS) work in port.
"This was Crew 102's first time conducting an overseas PMAV and it was a success," said Chief Damage Controlman Cory Williams. "The crew and the contractors really worked together, like a well-oiled machine."
With civilian contractors focused on particular PMS checks, the overall process is much more efficient, said Williams. It would typically take an entire department three weeks to complete about 1,400 checks.
Fort Worth is the first LCS to deploy under the "3-2-1" manning concept, which allows LCS to sustain a 16-month rotational presence without fatiguing the crew during the extended deployment. The concept allows LCS to deploy more than twice as long as typical U.S. Navy ship deployments. It is named 3-2-1 because three rotational crews support two LCS ships, one of which is deployed. Future LCS deployments to the region will employ this concept, allowing for enhanced U.S. Navy presence throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Throughout the course of her deployment, Fort Worth will increase LCS operations in the region by visiting more ports, engaging more regional navies during exercises like Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and expanding LCS capabilities with tools like the Fire Scout. Following the underway period, Fort Worth is slated to partner with the Philippines in an upcoming CARAT exercise.
Fort Worth is the second LCS to deploy to U.S. 7th Fleet as part of an initiative to simultaneously deploy up to four LCS to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in just a few years. The third and fourth LCSs are planned to arrive in 2016, when the region will see two of these ships deployed at the same time.
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.