August 30, 2020 – Beginning its initial deployment, the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (LCS 11), with embarked Gold crew, departed Mayport today for the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.
Sioux City will support enhanced 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.
“We are excited to begin the ship’s maiden deployment and live up to our motto “Forging a new frontier,” said Cmdr. Daniel Reiher, Sioux City’s commanding officer.
The deployment of an LCS to the region demonstrates 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.
“LCS’s have amazing capabilities and are underestimated,” said Sioux City command senior chief (CMDCS) Conrad Hunt. “Sioux City is ready to deploy to show why the LCS program is so important to the Navy’s mission.”
The Sioux City crew will also demonstrate its operational capabilities and allow the Navy to evaluate crew rotation and maintenance plans. Sioux City is equipped with surface warfare mission package personnel, a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60S Seahawk helicopter and a MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
“Preparing for this deployment has been very challenging, as this is my first deployment,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Luz Peña, a Sioux City crewmember. “It has helped me learn the importance of my job and team work, as they are both critical to completing our mission.”
USS Sioux City is attached to U.S. 2nd Fleet and is one of four deployable littoral combat ships under Surface Division Two One.
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused surface warfare, mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare. LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.