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Statement from Vice Adm.

Tom Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces


Results from the Chief of Naval Operations Directed 60-Day Review of the
Littoral Combat Ship Program
Sept. 08, 2016
A joint memo from the Chief of Naval Operations and Assistance Secretary of the Navy
for Research, Development and Acquisition directed the establishment of a Littoral Combat Ship
Review Team on Feb. 29, 2016. Our task was to review crewing, operations, training and
maintenance of the ship class.
Our core focus was to maximize forward operational availability, while looking for ways
to increase simplicity, stability and ownership. It became clear the LCS crewing construct is the
variable that most impacts the other factors such as manning, training, maintenance, and most
importantly operations forward. As such, one of the main changes to the program will be
establishing a Blue/Gold Plus crewing concept. This change maximizes forward presence and
improves stability, simplicity, and crew ownership. With this change, the crew will now focus on
a single mission (Anti-Submarine, Anti-Surface, Mine Countermeasures) for the entirety of their
tour.
With Blue/Gold Plus crewing we will create three Divisions of four ships operating on
each coast. The divisions will have a single mission (ASW, ASUW, MCM) and be commanded
by a major commander identical in stature to officers commanding guided missile cruisers,
amphibious transportation docks ships, destroyer squadrons, or amphibious assault ships. The 12
Freedom- variant ships will be homeported in Mayport, Florida. The 12 Independence-variant
ships will be homeported in San Diego, California. One ship in each division will be designated
as the training ship, manned by a single crew comprised of seasoned, experienced LCS Sailors.
These training ships will be charged with knowing their mission, training to their mission and
training/certifying the remaining six crews in their Division. The remaining ships of the
squadron will be the ships that deploy and will be crewed with a Blue-Gold construct (similar
to the crewing concept of our SSBNs).
The deploying crews will consist of 70 Sailors plus the Sailors manning the aviation
detachment. These 70 Sailors are a combination of what was previously known as the core
crew and the mission module crew ONE CREW focused on ONE MISSION.

The Division Commander and staff will oversee all aspects of manning, training and
equipping their assigned ships and crews, building expertise, ownership and stability within the
crews.
To simplify and stabilize the ongoing testing and evaluation program, the first four ships
in the in class will be shifted to dedicated, single-crewed testing ships whose main mission will
be test and evaluation of the modular systems being installed on our LCS. Like the training
crews, these ships will be manned with seasoned, experienced LCS Sailors. These ships will be
available on an as needed basis for training and deployment; however, their main focus will be
on system testing.
For all of our new ships, a single pre-commissioning crew will remain with the ship
through the completion of post-shakedown availability and preparations for the first deployment.
To foster increased ownership by our sailors, we will establish Maintenance Execution
Teams within the Division structure. These teams comprised of LCS Sailors will augment the
ship crews within the Division in the execution of both preventative and corrective maintenance.
Finally, as we grow the number of forward operating stations to support our operations
forward we will establish Forward Liaison Elements to ensure the support for our LCS where
they are operating.
As we implement these changes, we will continue to make iterative adjustments and
improvements based on evolving fleet requirements and technological developments.
Implementing the approved recommendations from this review and continuing to examine other
areas for improvement will better position the LCS program for success both now and in the
future.
CNSF