SINGAPORE - After a brief stop in Jakarta, the USS Fort Worth, a combat ship of the United States Navy, arrived in Singapore on Monday morning, to begin about 15 months of operations in the Asia-Pacific.
It is the second US Navy littoral combat ship (LCS) deployed in support of the Asia-Pacific rebalance, an initiative first announced by Singapore and the US at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2011.
The ship, which is used for operations in the littoral zone close to shore, arrived at Changi Naval Base, more than a month after leaving its home port in San Diego. It will operate as part of a 16-month rotational deployment to the US 7th Fleet, which conducts forward-deployed naval operations in the region.
The first LCS, the USS Freedom - the first of four such ships that Singapore has allowed to operate in its waters - completed an eight- month stint earlier this year.
"The much-anticipated arrival of Fort Worth speaks to our important partnership with the Republic of Singapore Navy and to our shared commitment to regional security and stability," said Rear -Admiral Charlie Williams, commander of the 7th Fleet's Task Force 73.
"As multiple LCS deployments become routine, ships like Fort Worth will become workhorses in the 7th Fleet."
Since departing its home port in San Diego on Nov 17, Fort Worth has conducted joint operations in Hawaii, made a port visit in Guam to refuel and stopped in Jakarta for a five-day port visit.
It will spend the remaining 15 months of her deployment operating out of Singapore as a maintenance and logistics hub before returning to San Diego in 2016.