April 2, 2021 – The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (LCS 11), along with the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, detachment 3, is underway to support operations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.
Sioux City will support counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. Sioux City’s operations will involve practical exercises and exchanges with partner nations, supporting U.S. 4th Fleet interoperability and reinforcing the U.S. position as the regional partner of choice.
The deployment of an LCS to the region aims to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to regional cooperation and security. The LCS’s shallow draft provides unparalleled opportunities for port access, making the ship an ideal vessel for these types of engagements.
Sioux City will initially be manned by its Blue Crew of more than 100 Sailors, including surface warfare mission-package personnel; a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment; and an aviation detachment, who will operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff/Unmanned Vehicles.