The U.S. Navy Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) is operating in the Andaman Sea in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Andaman Sea is a marginal sea of northeastern Indian Ocean bounded by the coastlines of Myanmar and Thailand along the Gulf of Martaban and west side of the Malay Peninsula, and separated from the Bay of Bengal to its west by India’s Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.
Gabrielle Giffords, which is part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, is currently on rotational deployment. According to the Navy, the vessel operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations “to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force”.
Earlier last month, the ship conducted joint operations with the Navy’s America-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) in the South China Sea.
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) is the fifth Independence-class littoral combat ship of the U.S. Navy. She is named after former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot along with eighteen other people during a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
Construction on Gabrielle Giffords began with her keel laying on 16 April 2014, at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. The ship was christened in a ceremony held at the Austal USA shipyard on 13 June 2015, and Second Lady of the United States Jill Biden served as ship sponsor at the christening.
The ship was delivered to the U.S. Navy on 23 December 2016, and was commissioned the following spring on 10 June 2017, in Galveston, Texas.
During summer 2019, the ship was equipped with MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter and Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) and from September deployed in an offensive role in the seas off China.