First US littoral combat ship USS Freedom arrives in Singapore
The United States (US) Navy's first littoral combat ship USS Freedom arrived in Singapore on Thursday morning, to start its eight-month deployment in South-east Asia. It was welcomed by US Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman and the Republic of Singapore Navy's fleet commander Timothy Lo.
The warship with its 91 crew members arrived at Changi Naval Base afer a month-long sea journey from San Diego on March 1. Also embarked on the 115m- long vessel is the MH-60 seahawk naval helicopter. "Freedom has met every milestone of this deployment on time and with the professionalism you would expect of US Navy Sailors," said Cmdr Timothy Wilke, commanding officer, USS Freedom. "I'm proud of Freedom's accomplishments to date, but I'm also looking forward to putting the ship through its paces over the next several months."
USS Freedom's arrival in Singapore comes two years after Singapore and the US announced the deployment to this part of the world at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Up to four littoral combat ships can be deployed here.
While in Singapore, it will refuel and restock before heading out to sea for training. Comprehensive maintenance checks will also be done after Freedom's longest period out at sea since it was commissioned in 2008.