Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), along with the “Dragon Whales” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 Detachment 9 and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), departed from Naval Station Mayport Oct. 18, starting its second deployment this year to support U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.

Milwaukee will support counter-illicit trafficking in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific. Milwaukee’s operations will also involve exercises and exchanges with partner nations, supporting U.S. 4th Fleet efforts to enhance capability and improve interoperability e while reinforcing the Fleet’s position as the regional partner of choice.

Deploying an LCS to the region demonstrates the U.S. commitment to regional security. The ship’s size, speed, and agility make LCS ideal for narcotics interdictions, partner engagements and port access.

“This crew is excited to take the ship on another deployment to 4th Fleet. We have some new Sailors that are looking forward to see new parts of the world, and the Sailors who deployed last time are ready to execute their mission once again,” said Cmdr. Brian A. Forster, commanding officer of Milwaukee. “The interoperability and exercise with our partner nations were the highlight of last deployment and we look forward to doing the same. Building peace through partnership is a core aspect of any deployment and the Sailors of USS Milwaukee are looking forward to working with our allies.”

Manned by more than 100 Sailors, Milwaukee’s crew will consist of surface warfare mission-package personnel, a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment and an aviation detachment, who will operate the embarked MH-60S helicopter.

USS Milwaukee is operationally assigned to U.S. 2nd Fleet and is one of four littoral combat ships under Surface Division 21.