The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7), along with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, detachment 11, got underway June 21 to support operations in U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

Detroit will support counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. Detroit’s operations will involve practical exercises and exchanges with partner nation maritime services, supporting U.S. 4th Fleet interoperability and reinforcing the U.S. position as the regional partner of choice.

“We look forward to building upon the successes of USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9) in our return to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility,” said Cmdr. Kyle Hickman, commanding officer of Detroit. “The crew has been extremely dedicated in its preparation and is ready for 4th Fleet tasking.”

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.

Detroit will initially be manned by its crew of more than 100 Sailors, including a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment; and an aviation detachment, who will operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter.

“The crew executed a very difficult training cycle,” said Cmdr. Bruce Hallett, executive officer of Detroit. “They exceeded all expectations.”