The sixth U.S. Navy ship named Independence, which signifies freedom of control by others; self-government.
(LCS-2: displacement 3,200; length 421.5'; beam 103.7'; draft 15.1'; speed 40+ knots; complement 40+ augmentees; armament 1 Mk 110 57 millimeter gun, RIM-116 SeaRAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) defense system, and 4 .50 caliber machine guns; aircraft 2 Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawks and 1 Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout; class Independence)
The sixth Independence (LCS-2) was laid down on 19 January 2006 at Mobile, Ala., by Austal USA; launched on 28 April 2008; sponsored by Mrs. Doreen A. Scott, wife of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry D. Scott; delivered to the Navy on 18 December 2009; and commissioned on 16 January 2010, Cmdr. Kurt A. Renshaw (Blue Crew) and Cmdr. Michael B. Riley (Gold Crew) in command.
Dark blue and gold are traditionally associated with the Navy. The field is charged with a representation of Independence at sea. The crenellated bordure bears six merlons, each representing each one of the ships to bear the name Independence. The eight mullets on the bordure recall the battle stars awarded to small aircraft carrier Independence (CVL-22) during World War II. Gold also denotes excellence.
The Liberty Bell signifies the freedoms achieved by America’s independence from the British Empire, and emphasizes the participation in gaining national independence of the first ships to bear the name. The stars and stripes and commodore’s pennant of the early nineteenth century recall the nation’s struggles of that historic period.
“Libertas Per Laborem Audentium” (Independence Through Bold Action) in gold letters on a dark blue scroll garnished Argent doubled gold with dark blue garnish.
The coat of arms as blazoned on a white oval within a dark blue collar edged on the outside with stylized gold cable and inscribed at top “USS Independence” and in base “LCS 2” in gold letters.
Independence made her maiden voyage when she sailed from Mobile to Norfolk, Va. (26 March–14 April 2010). The Naval Sea Systems Command announced the successful completion of the first phase of shipboard mine countermeasure mission package testing for Independence, with a reconfigured MH-60S Seahawk, on 10 December 2010.
The ship, manned by her Gold Crew, and with Mine Countermeasures Detachment I embarked, sailed from Mayport, Fla., to her home port of San Diego, Calif. (9 April–2 May 2012). Independence tested the ship’s mine countermeasures package. She passed through the Panama Canal for the first time (15–16 April), trained with the Mexican Navy, and accomplished her first visit to a foreign port when she put in to Manzanillo, Mexico (23–28 April) where her sailors participated in a community relations project, volunteering to work in an orphanage, and engaged in recreational activities that ranged from scuba diving to a day trip to Guadalajara. Independence also operated briefly with littoral combat ship Freedom (LCS-1) in Southern Californian waters before reaching San Diego.
Detailed history pending.
Mark L. Evans
5 February 2018