8th Freedom-variant LCS commissioned for U.S. NavyNews
August 05, 2019
KEY WEST, Fla. The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Billings (LCS 15), its eighth Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), during a ceremony in Key West, Florida on August 3, 2019. The commissioning places the ship, built by a team led by Lockheed Martin, into active service.
Billings -- with its crew of approximately 70 sailors --is designed to operate near the shore and in the open ocean, which Navy officials say provides cost-effective force flexibility and allows the Navy to strengthen allied partnerships.
“A warship and its crew is better when they are ambassadors, better when they put a hand out — a hand of friendship, a hand of comfort, reassurance. But make no mistake, they can bring it. They’ve got power and they can fight,” said Adm. Craig S. Faller, Commander, U.S. Southern Command. “Billings is fast. It’s lethal. It can fight, and so can its crew.”
Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, commanding officer of Billings, said that Billings has been designated as a mine-countermeasures platform: “We have already begun developing missions and protocols that future ships will conduct and adhere to.”
Billings' home port will be Naval Station Mayport, Florida.