Freedom-class LCS returns from first deployment to 5th and 6th Fleet

By Audrey Decker / October 5, 2022 at 3:00 PM

A Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship, the Sioux City (LCS-11), has returned from its first deployment to U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet in support of allies and partners.

The ship operated during the five-month deployment in the Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf.

The Navy has been plagued by a combining gear issue with the Freedom-variant LCS after identifying a material defect. However, the service announced a fix in November to the issue.

So far, two LCS have been outfitted with the correction: Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) and Cooperstown (LCS-23).

Sioux City has not received the combining gear fix, but the Navy said that didn't impact the ship’s deployment.

“Sioux City participated in various at-sea evolutions and operated alongside U.S. and allied units on multiple occasions, including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), two Egyptian Navy ships, the Italian Navy Cassiopea-class MM Patrol Boat 'Vega' (P404) and a German Navy patrol aircraft (P3C),” according to an Oct. 2 press release.

During the deployment, Sioux City also supported Combined Task Force 153, one of four multinational task forces organized under the Combined Maritime Forces, consisting of 34 nations.

“Sioux City’s arrival was not only historic, but essential to regional maritime security given its immediate integration with our new multinational naval task force,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.