U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship USS Detroit Arrives in Key West for Maintenance

The U.S. Navy Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Detroit (LCS 7) arrived at Naval Air Station Key West’s Truman Harbor on March 29 to conduct emergent repairs.

Detroit departed its homeport of Mayport, Florida, for the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility on its deployment March 15. Detroit has been underway conducting counter illicit drug operations in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF)’s mission.

Detroit is manned by her Blue crew of more than 90 Sailors, which will include surface warfare mission package personnel, U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60S Seahawk helicopter and one MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). The Blue crew took over the ship from the Gold crew while at its Mayport, Florida homeport earlier this year.

According to a Navy statement, there are currently no Sailors onboard Detroit who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have shown any signs. The statement said that the ship’s crew will be limited to the base only “in order to protect its people and maintain mission readiness”.

“The health and well-being of our Sailors remains our top priority”, the statement added.

USS Detroit (LCS-7) is the fourth Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the U.S. Navy. she is the sixth ship to be named after the city of Detroit, Michigan.

The ceremonial keel laying for the vessel was held in early November 2012 at the Marinette Marine shipyards in Marinette, Wisconsin. The ship was launched on 18 October 2014. The Navy took delivery of USS Detroit on 12 August 2016; the ship was commissioned on 22 October 2016. She is assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two.

On 8 March 2017, Detroit fired a vertical-launched AGM-114 Hellfire missile, the first such launch from a littoral combat ship. The Hellfire system is meant to engage small vessels and strike targets on land. In January 2020, the ship conducted freedom of navigation and intelligence-gathering operations off the coast of Caracas, Venezuela.

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