Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore May 2, as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
Aside from brief stops, Jackson’s arrival to Singapore will be the first by an LCS since USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) departed in summer 2020. During this visit, Jackson is scheduled to complete a planned maintenance availability (PMAV) period.
“Having Jackson once again using Changi Naval Base as the site for maintenance is a significant milestone and gives operational commanders increased adaptability for maintaining and operating ships,” said Rear Adm. Chris Engdahl, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7/Task Force 76. “We are thankful for our defense relationship with the Republic of Singapore and their willingness to host our ships as we strive toward a common goal of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
PMAVs are routine events in the ship’s schedule conducted by littoral combat ships, in which a maintenance team assists with the completion of planned maintenance due to the ship’s minimally-manned crew. Compared to other Navy ship platforms, the littoral combat ship has a relatively small crew. Labor and technical support during Jackson’s deployment is supplemented by active duty maintenance execution teams, as well as some civilian contractors who conduct planned preventative maintenance work.
LCS rotationally deploy to Singapore and use Changi Naval Base as the place for logistics and maintenance. This effort is at the core of the security relationship between Singapore and the U.S.
“The return of the LCS to Singapore is another example of the excellent and longstanding partnership between the Republic of Singapore and U.S. navies,” said Capt. Tom Ogden, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “We look forward to planning and executing alongside our Singapore counterparts with the added value of ships in proximity to each other and the ability to interact and share experiences in person.”
The Republic of Singapore and U.S. navies work together on a number of initiatives at sea such as ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX), Exercise Pacific Griffin, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), and Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise, as well as combined operations such as multi-national counter-piracy.
Since beginning their deployment in summer 2021, Jackson, along with the other ships attached to DESRON 7 – USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and USS Charleston (LCS 18) – have operated throughout the region while conducting maintenance, primarily out of Apra Harbor at Naval Base Guam.