170623-N-PD309-122 BOHOL SEA (June 23, 2017) Littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) transits the Bohol Sea during an exercise with the Philippine Navy for Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama Sama 2017. MTA Sama Sama is a bilateral maritime exercise between U.S. and Philippine naval forces and is designed to strengthen cooperation and interoperability between the nations' armed forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released) (Photo by MC3 Deven Leigh Ellis)
The littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) is underway in formation with ships from the Royal Thai Navy as part of a division tactics exercise during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand. CARAT is a series of Pacific Command-sponsored, U.S Pacific Fleet-led bilateral exercises held annually in South and Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance force readiness, June 3, 2017. CARAT exercise events cover a broad range of naval skill areas and disciplines including surface, undersea, air, and amphibious warfare; maritime security operations; riverine, jungle, and explosive ordnance disposal operations; combat construction; diving and salvage; search and rescue; maritime patrol and reconnaissance aviation; maritime domain awareness; military law, public affairs and military medicine; and humanitarian assistance and disaster response. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Deven Ellis)
170623-N-PD309-184 BOHOL SEA (June 23, 2017) Members of the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team aboard littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) prepare to board Philippine Navy ship BRP BATAK (LC 299) during a VBSS exercise for Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama Sama 2017. MTA Sama Sama is a bilateral maritime exercise between U.S. and Philippine naval forces and is designed to strengthen cooperation and interoperability between the nations' armed forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released) (Photo by MC3 Deven Leigh Ellis)
A harpoon missile launches from the missile deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Guam, Aug. 22, 2017. Coronado is on a rotational deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, patrolling the region's littorals and working hull-to-hull with partner navies to provide the U.S. 7th Fleet with the flexible capabilities it needs now and in the future. (Photo by MC2 Kaleb R. Staples)
A Firescout unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) off the coast of Guam. Coronado is on a rotational deployment in U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, patrolling the region's littorals and working hull-to-hull with partner navies to provide U.S. 7th Fleet with the flexible capabilities it needs now and in the future. (Photo by U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples)
PACIFIC OCEAN - The littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) departed the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Nov 21 after supporting theater security cooperation efforts and maritime security operations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific for nearly 14 months.
During the rotational deployment, the ship and crew operated with navies of 16 partner nations, participated in 11 multilateral and bilateral exercises, and made 10 strategic port visits across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Coronado visited Puerto Princesa, Philippines, Guam, and Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands while transiting out of the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility and is currently in transit to her homeport in San Diego.
"The rotational deployment of USS Coronado demonstrated the relevance of LCS as a platform tailor made for the dynamic and congested sea lanes, straits and archipelagos of South and Southeast Asia, providing flexible options and tactical advantages," said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, Commander, Task Force 73. "We made tremendous strides in a challenging, forward deployed environment and the team is already applying lessons learned to future deployments in 2018. The Navy remains committed to the rotational deployment of LCS to the Indo-Asia-Pacific and views the LCS as a pillar of future U.S. maritime presence in Southeast Asia."
Coronado achieved many operational milestones for the LCS program to include coordinated counterpiracy operations with the Philippine Navy in the Sulu Sea and inaugural port visits to Cam Ranh, Vietnam and Lumut, Malaysia where the ship and crew deepened maritime partnerships. While operating alongside the Republic of Singapore Navy during exercise Pacific Griffin near Guam, Coronado fired a Harpoon surface-to-surface missile and successfully struck a target beyond visual range. The ship also contributed to regional maritime security through routine presence operations in the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Andaman Sea, and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
“Our ability to conduct sophisticated ship evolutions in complex maritime environments with partner nations throughout the region is the direct result of a mutual and unwavering commitment by the U.S. and our Allies and partners in the region,” said Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7.
There were also opportunities to improve scheduled and expeditionary maintenance for a deployed LCS. The ship’s maintainers reduced the average repair time while deployed from 15 to 4 days, increasing the availability and readiness of Coronado to operate across the region. Coronado also conducted expeditionary maintenance availabilities in locations outside Singapore to include Cam Ranh, Vietnam, Guam, and Lumut, Malaysia.
“I am extremely proud of the Sailors and the work we did in the region,” said Cmdr. Douglas Meagher, commanding officer of Coronado. “Members of the crew and partner navies alike were able to grow from their experiences at sea together.”
As U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, Commander, Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises and engagements, such as Pacific Partnership, the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam and the multi-lateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT). Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 also tactically control and coordinate maintenance for rotationally deployed Littoral Combat Ships.