The first U.S. Navy ship named in honor of Fort Worth, Texas.
(LCS-3: displacement 3,450; length 387.6'; beam 57.7'; draft 14.1'; speed 40+ knots; complement 45+ up to 23 Aviation Detachment and 29 Maritime Security Mission Package sailors (2 boarding teams, augmented by a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET); armament 1 Mk 110 57 millimeter gun, RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), 2 Mk 44 30 millimeter Bushmaster II guns, and 4 .50 caliber machine guns; aircraft 1 Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawk and 1 Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout; class Freedom)
The Navy authorized LCS-3 for construction at Bollinger Shipyards, La., on 26 June 2006, but on 12 April 2007 Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter cancelled the authorization. LCS-3 was reauthorized on 23 March 2009 for construction at Marinette, Wisc., by Marinette Marine Corp. (Lockheed Martin). The third Forth Worth (LCS-3) was consequently laid down at Marinette on 11 July 2009; launched on 4 December 2010; sponsored by Representative N. Kay Granger of Texas and former Mayor of Fort Worth; and commissioned on 22 September 2012, Cmdr. James R. Blankenship (Blue Crew), and Cmdr. Warren E. Cupps (Gold Crew), in command.
The laurel wreath honors Fort Worth, Texas and their patriotic citizens for their continuing support of the uniformed military services. The three stars indicate that Fort Worth is third in the littoral class of combat ships. The Texas longhorn symbolizes Fort Worth and its nickname, “Cowtown.” The longhorn is placed on the laurel, honoring the patriotic citizens of Fort Worth for their continuing support and loyalty shown to the U.S. armed forces.
Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy, and represent the sea and excellence. The dark blue background alludes to the seven seas and the theater of operations of Fort Worth. Black implies forcefulness. The chevron suggests the prow of the ship; the trident represents maritime authority and modern technology. The chevron and chevronnel relate to the multi-crew concept of the littoral combat ship class and of Fort Worth. They also illustrate the ship’s ability to reconfigure through mission modules designed to defeat the growing coastal threat, providing access and dominance that permits Fort Worth to sail in any waters worldwide. The trident symbolizes maritime authority. The green chief signifies the ship’s control of her littoral missions. LCS-3 is named for Forth Worth, Texas, the fifth largest city in Texas, represented by the Texas State flag.
The crossed United States Naval Officer’s sword and Chief Petty Officer’s cutlass symbolize teamwork and readiness, highlighting the experienced crew of Fort Worth.
Fort Worth is the third littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy, and the second of the steel, semi-planing, mono-hull Freedom (LCS-1) variant. She specializes in three missions: surface warfare; antisubmarine warfare; and mine countermeasures. The ship completed several weeks of sea trials in Lake Michigan on 24 October 2011, and carried out her acceptance trials on the lake (30 April–4 May 2012).
She sailed from Marinette on 6 August 2012, crossed Lakes Michigan and Huron (7–8 August), refueled at Detroit, Mich. (8–9 August), crossed Lake Erie (9–10 August), and passed through the Welland Canal on 10 August. The ship crossed Lake Ontario on the 10th, visited Ogdensburg, N.Y. (11–12 August), transited the St. Lawrence Seaway on the 12th, and visited Montreal (12–15 August) and Halifax, Canada (18–20 August). She completed her first flight operations while off Little Creek, Va., on 23 August, her first underway replenishment, with auxiliary dry cargo ship William McLean (T-AKE 12), off the east coast on 28 August, and the Combat Systems Onboard Testing and a preventive maintenance availability at Mayport, Fla. (1–12 September). Fort Worth sailed (13 September) for her commissioning, and moored (17 September) at Pier 21, Galveston, Texas.
The newly commissioned littoral combat ship returned to sea and participated in some of the events of UNITAS Atlantic Exercise with Commander Task Group 138.2 on 28 October. She passed through the Panama Canal on 1 October, visited Rodman, Panama (1–2 October), Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, on 6 October, and Manzanillo, Mexico (8–13 October), and arrived at her home port of San Diego, Calif., on the 18th, sailing more than 9,500 nautical miles on her maiden voyage from Marinette. Fort Worth had two Bushmaster II 30 millimeter Close-in Guns installed (1–6 December). Cmdr. Cupps relieved Cmdr. Blankenship as commanding officer of the Blue Crew on 7 December.
Marines of the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, from Camp Pendleton, Calif., boarded Fort Worth via combat rubber raiding craft through the ship’s aft-facing tail gate in Californian waters on 2 October 2013. Fort Worth tested a Fire Scout VTUAV on the Point Mugu Test Range, Calif. (5–13 November). “Everything from the consoles in MCC [Mission Control Center], the displays, and antennas to the flight deck and UCARS were made for us to interface with Fire Scout,” Lt. Michael Chesnut, the combat systems officer for LCS Crew 104, explained. UCARS (UAV Common Automated Recovery System) is a ‘tractor beam’ that locks on to a Fire Scout and brings it safely on deck without human intervention.Detailed history under construction.
Detailed history pending.
Mark L. Evans
5 February 2018