An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 16, 2022

Littoral Combat Ship Integrates with Marine and Unmanned Steel Knight 23 Assets

Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) returned to Naval Base San Diego Dec. 12 after leading a manned-unmanned team and integrating with Marine Corps aviation assets during exercise Steel Knight 23.

Jackson’s participation in the 1st Marine Division-led exercise provided the joint force with expanded maritime capabilities by accessing critical operating areas that shape actions across the range of military operations to resolve conflict, conduct humanitarian assistance or combat the adversary.

“Jackson is pushing the tactical envelope through simultaneous control of multiple manned and unmanned air and surface vessels,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Michael Winslow, Jackson Gold crew’s commanding officer. “Combined with the installed Naval Strike Missile, Jackson’s operations with the Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel, MQ-8C Fire Scout, and MH-60S Sea Hawk significantly enhanced Jackson’s ability to conduct persistent, over-the-horizon search and destroy missions.”

The flexible design and dynamic maneuvering capabilities of Independence-variant LCS like Jackson gives the Navy-Marine Corps team an asymmetric advantage over adversaries in a maritime environment.

“Last week, for the first time, we demonstrated the ability to spot two H-1s on an LCS flight deck, conduct arm and de-arm operations, and refuel prior to taking off again. That capability allows us to extend the operational range of Marine Corps Light Attack helicopters in the maritime environment and potentially provide greater standoff for the amphibious ships that we might launch from,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Harper, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 detachment officer in charge. “Ultimately, what we are doing is giving the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander a greater range of expeditionary maritime fires solutions. Last week's incredibly smooth execution highlights a solid and ever improving Blue-Green relationship, and we are excited to continue to expand our interoperability.”

The ship's integrated deterrence and sea denial events during Steel Knight 23 continue U.S. Third Fleet and I MEF’s combined efforts to refine and strengthen fundamental amphibious and expeditionary combat support capabilities to reinforce the Navy and Marine Corps team in multiple domains.

“Jackson’s successful demonstration serving as a lily pad for simultaneous USMC AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom aircraft provides operational planners with expanded options as we look to increase Naval and Marine Corps integration in contested environments,” said Winslow. “The pilots’ precision and the flight deck team’s adaptability ensured a safe evolution, paving the way for future Marine Corps interoperability with Littoral Combat Ships.”

Jackson is homeported in San Diego as part of Surface Division Eleven and Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. LCS are versatile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments and win against 21st-century coastal threats. These ships provide forward presence and conduct maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions both near-shore and on the high seas.

Conducted annually since 1991, Steel Knight began as a tank battalion exercise before growing into 1st Marine Division’s annual large-scale exercise. Over the past 30 years, Steel Knight has grown to include additional regiments and battalions, modernized weapons systems, distributed operations, and aviation and Naval support. This year’s iteration will enable Marines to further refine emerging concepts related to the Marine Corps’ Force Design modernization efforts. The modern global security environment demands ready and trained Marines ready to respond to crises and contingencies anywhere in the global littorals.

For more information on Steek Knight 23, visit For more information on Independence-variant LCS, visit and


Like Us
Follow Us



Austin Notes Progress on Development of Australia's Nuclear-Powered Sub
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Richard Marles pose for a photo during a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Feb 3, 2023. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza)
Feb. 7, 2023 - The U.S. and Australia signaled their continued commitment to AUKUS, which is the trilateral security pact among Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S., formed in 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said...

AFRIMS attend Royal Thai Army anniversary celebration
Maj. Taylor Whitten, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, executive officer and Royal Thai Army Surgeon General Wuticha Isara hold a hat with the letters 123 inscribed on it to celebrate the RTA Medical Department's 123rd Anniversary Ceremony, Jan. 9. The celebration brought together 225 attendees and professionals in military medicine from around the local region representing RTA, RTAMED, Royal Thai Navy, Royal Thai Police, private industry, government, and academia. Representatives from AFRIMS were invited to join the ceremony as the only foreign military presence. (Courtesy photo)
Feb. 6, 2023 - Members from the U.S Army Medical Directorate- Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences attended the Royal Thai Army Medical Department 123rd Anniversary Ceremony, Jan. 9. The celebration brought together 225...

Ceremony commemorates 72 years since Battle of Hill 180
A statue of Capt. Lewis Millet sits near the memorial site of the Battle of Hill 180 on Osan Air Base, South Korea. The base held its annual Battle of Hill 180 ceremony Feb. 2, 2023.
Feb. 6, 2023 - In honor of the nine Soldiers who perished during the battle, Osan Air Base hosts an annual Battle of Hill 180 ceremony. This year's commemoration was held Feb. 2. Attendees payed their respects with the laying of wreaths and...

Guided-Missile Cruiser USS Shiloh Concludes 10-Day Surface Warfare Advanced Technical Training (SWATT) in the Philippine Sea
PHILIPPINE SEA (Jan. 23, 2023) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) fires a standard missile during a live-fire exercise in the Philippine Sea, Jan. 23, 2023. Shiloh is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Santiago Navarro)
Feb. 6, 2023 - The exercises tested Shiloh’s, proficiency in combat capability, lethality, as well as interoperability with other nations.Shiloh participated alongside other units including USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), USS Chancellorsville...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Strengthens Cooperation in Visit to Timor-Leste
U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Strengthens Cooperation in Visit to Timor-Leste
Feb. 3, 2023 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Timor-Leste Feb. 1-3, to strengthen our security cooperation and enduring partnership between our countries.In meetings with President José Ramos-Horta,...