THE PENTAGON --- Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) suffered at least one engineering casualty during a transit in the Gulf of Mexico and is heading to Florida for repairs, two defense officials told USNI News on Friday.
Sometime on Thursday, the Independence-class ship was bound for the Panama Canal when Montgomery suffered the engineering failure. Now the ship is headed to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba under its own power but under propulsion restrictions before returning to Naval Station Mayport, Fla. for repairs, the officials confirmed to USNI News.
The Navy has yet to provide USNI News additional details as of this posting.
Montgomery’s casualty (this “casualty” is actually a break down—Ed.) is the latest in a string of engineering failures in both classes of LCS this year. In late August, Independence-class LCS USS Coronado (LCS-4) suffered a casualty in route from Pearl Harbor to Singapore for a planned deployment. Days earlier, the Navy confirmed USS Freedom (LCS-2) would have to have a main propulsion diesel engine replaced after sea water flooded the lube oil system. In January, operator error caused a complex gearing system in Freedom-class LCS USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) to suffer extensive damage which resulted in the removal of the ship’s commander. The year before a software problem in USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) caused a similar casualty in its gearing system.
The latest casualty comes a week after the Navy, under direction of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, revealed the results of a new study that changed some of the fundamental manning, training and equipping concepts for both LCS classes.
The casualty also comes after the Navy conducted an “engineering stand-down” in which U.S. Naval Surface Forces (NAVSURFOR) “for every [Littoral Combat Ship] crew to review procedures and standards for their engineering departments,” NAVSURFOR said earlier this month.
Following the stand down the Surface Warfare Office School was asked to review, “the wholeness of our LCS engineering education and training to include the testing and retraining of all LCS engineers,” NAVSURFOR commander, Vice Adm. Tom Rowden said in a statement at the time. (end of excerpt)
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