USS Little Rock LCS 9

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Page last updated: 6 May, 2021

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USS Little Rock LCS 9
at completion of Sea Trials

All the Latest News...  with the latest news listed first!

CNO is 'bullish' on Freedom Class LCS's Future

29 Apr 2021

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and acting SecNav Thomas Harker praised the "problematic" Freedom Class LCS during congressional testimony on Thursday 29 April.

"We're very bullish on LCS and where we're headed," Gilday said. He went on to praise the work of the LCS's in recent missions in the west Pacific and in U.S. Southern Command.

He also said the LCS fleet will be getting "beefed up" in the next 18 months, as 31 of the ships will be outfitted with missile systems, while 15 will receive an anti-submarine capability and another approximately 15 ships will receive an anti-mine capability.

Gilday called issues with the combining gear of the Freedom-class ships a "big problem" and that the Navy will not accept deliveries of the Freedom-variant LCS until the combining gear issue is fixed.

He also told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee on Thursday that the Navy is forcing the vendor who made the combining gear to go back to the drawing board for a new design and testing.

(Posted on Little Rock website 30 Apr 2021)

Resolution to LCS9 combining gear issues....?

19 Jan 2021

In an article published by the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) earlier this year, titled "Navy Calls Freedom LCS Propulsion Problem Class-Wide Defect, Won't Take New Ships Until Fixed" (by Sam LaGrone), we learn….. "The Navy has determined that a flaw in the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship's combining gear . . . is an engineering defect that shipbuilder Lockheed Martin now has to fix . . . "

Over the last year, the Navy has linked propulsion failures in USS Detroit (LCS 7) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9) to a defect in the bearings system that links the ship's gas turbines and the ship's diesel engines, which let the ship reach its 40-knot top speed.

In March of 2020 a combining gear failure occurred on LITTLE ROCK. The combining gear failure started with the high-speed clutch," a senior Navy official told USNI News."

The article continues: "A design fix has been developed and is in production, to be followed by factory and sea-based testing."

The fix, according to sources familiar with the planning process, involves replacing the two high-speed clutch bearings with a different bearing version that would not fail as easily.

In the meantime, "other Freedom-class LCS's can still operate up to about 35 knots and still be operational, the source said."

(Reposted on Little Rock website 12 Mar 2021)

Change of Command Ceremony

08 May 2020

At a Change of Command Ceremony held at the Ocean Breeze Conference Center, Naval Station Mayport on 08 May 2020 CDR Lenard Mitchell was properly relieved as Commanding Officer and CDR Brian Crosby officially assumed the duties and responsibilities as Commanding Officer of USS LITTLE ROCK's Blue Crew.

CDR Mitchell was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the ceremony. The award cited his outstanding meritorious service as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer for USS Little Rock Blue from November 2018 to May 2020.

(Posted on Little Rock website 09 May 2020)

Sailing in Style: Little Rock (LCS 9) Opens First Barbershop

26 Feb 2020

USS Little Rock (LCS 9) opened the ship’s first barber shop facility aboard, February 26.

The barber shop is run by Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Ismael Sanchez, born in Nicaragua, who is the only certified barber aboard the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Little Rock.

Sanchez attended the Shipboard Barber School in San Diego, California where he received training on the basic fundamentals of barbershop sanitation and hair-cutting procedures for male and female service members.

"My favorite thing about giving haircuts are the results and seeing the clients’ excitement," said Sanchez. "I enjoy making people happy. I feel like if a client gets a good haircut they feel good about themselves, and I like when people feel good about themselves."

"The most difficult part about setting up the barbershop was finding a space aboard and then acquiring all of the equipment. The first haircut was given to the Executive Officer, and once he approved it, then it was open to all hands," explained Sanchez.

"It was an honor to be the first customer, Petty Officer Sanchez did a terrific job. Petty Officer Sanchez has made a tremendous impact on the crew’s morale by providing this service aboard. The word spread fast throughout the crew, and by the end of the day his signup sheet was full. The ship’s crew enjoys being self-sufficient at sea" said CDR Dominick Albano, Little Rock’s Executive Officer.

The barbershop has been a morale booster among the crew, and the best part is the haircuts are offered for free.

"I love getting my haircut aboard because I don’t have to pay out of my own pocket and Sanchez is a good barber," said Lt. j.g. Zhuoying Chen, communications officer aboard Little Rock.

"The most rewarding thing for me is making people happy after they see their haircut!" said Sanchez.

USS Little Rock (LCS 9) is deployed in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.

(Posted on Little Rock website 08 Aug 2020)

USS Little Rock LCS 9 to be getting a “Laser Gun”

21 Feb 2020

Little Rock will be receiving a laser weapon during an upcoming deployment. She will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to get a “laser gun”.

The laser is reportedly one of our most powerful military lasers, with the ability to damage or destroy small boats, drones, and aircraft.

General Dynamics will install the 150 kilowatt laser weapon system prior to the ship’s deployment to the Navy’s 4th Fleet, responsible for Central and South America.

It has been stated that the laser has enough power to “fry” (depending on local atmospheric conditions) drones and small aircraft as well as do enough damage to sink small boats, such as armed speedboats, by burning holes through the hull or detonating onboard fuel or ammunition.

Integrating the laser should be straight-forward since both the laser and the LITTLE ROCK are made by Lockheed Martin.

(Posted on Little Rock website 07 Mar 2020)

Lt. Cody Kinser “Ship Handler” !

21 Feb 2020

USS Little Rock’s Lt. Cody Kinser has received the “Ship Handler of the Year” award. This award is given to Surface Warfare Officers who demonstrate superior performance while standing Officer of The Deck Underway. Lt. Kinser’s qualifications also include Surface Warfare Officer of the Deck, and Anti-terrorism Tactical Watch Officer.

(Posted on Little Rock website 07 Mar 2020)

"The U.S. Navy sends one of its newest ships to hunt high-seas drug smugglers."

06 Feb 2020

LCS 9 Crew Muster
LCS9 Blue and Gold crews muster prior to the ship's first deployment in Feb 2020

USS Little Rock LCS 9 departed Mayport on 06 February 2020 headed for the U.S. Southern Command Area in Central America for operations with the US Navy's 4th Fleet.

Little Rock will most likely be conducting operations in support of Campaign MARTILLO, targeting illicit drug trafficking. She recently received a high power laser system which has the ability to damage or destroy small boats, drones, and aircraft.

Sources say Little Rock will initially be manned by her “Gold Crew" as well as a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned vehicles. She will execute a rotational deployment of Blue and Gold crews about every four months.

(Posted on Little Rock website 12 Feb 2020)

USS Little Rock LCS 9 to get new Laser Weapons System

20 Jan 2020

A January 14, 2020 article titled “The Navy's Smallest Warship Gets a Big Laser Gun” written by Kyle Mizokami in Popular Mechanics magazine tells us Little Rock will receive a laser weapon five times more powerful than the first shipboard laser, deployed five years ago.

Little Rock's laser weapon should give it the ability to damage or destroy small boats, drones, and aircraft.

U.S. Naval Institute News says defense contractor General Dynamics will install the 150 kilowatt laser weapon system.

Integrating the laser should not be difficult in that the laser system and Little Rock are both made by Lockheed Martin.

The weapon system apparently has enough power to fry (depending on local atmospheric conditions) drones and small aircraft. It could most likely also damage or sink small craft, such as the heavily armed speedboats Iran's Revolutionary Guards use, by burning holes through the hull, or by detonating onboard fuel or ammunition.

Little Rock is the fourth U.S. Navy warship to be equipped with a laser weapon system. The first ship was the USS Ponce, followed by USS Dewey and USS Portland.

(Posted on Little Rock website 12 Feb 2020)

Vice Admiral Richard Brown Announce
New Laser Weapon System for USS Little Rock (LCS 9)

10 Jan 2020

In early January 2020 the Commander of U.S. Naval Surface Forces Vice Admiral Richard Brown announced that USS Little Rock (LCS 9) will get a new laser weapon system during an upcoming deployment some time this year.

On January 13, 2020 U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) News reported that Lockheed Martin is set to install a 150-kilowatt laser weapon system aboard LITTLE ROCK. The weapon will reportedly be used for defense against incoming aerial vehicles and other small aircraft. It could also be used against smaller surface vessels like speedboats.

(Posted on Little Rock website 29 May 2020)

LCS 9 News Articles
(Listed by date Issued)


   Announcement of LCS 6 and LCS 8 Names - March 24, 2011
   The next Littoral Combat Ship will be named "USS Little Rock" - July 15, 2011
   Ship Naming Ceremony - October 5, 2011
   Update - December 4, 2012
   Blog post on the LCS program from RADM John F. Kirby - June 10, 2013


   Lockheed Martin Press Release - June 27, 2013
   Keel Laying Ceremony - June 27, 2013
   Navy Times Article - June 28, 2013
   SecNav Ray Mabus visits LCS 9 at Marinette Marine Corp. - September 12, 2013
   Article: "USS Little Rock, From Light to Guided Missile Cruiser" - December 23, 2013
   Article on LCS Program - August 4, 2014
   USS Little Rock LCS 9 Basing - August 7, 2014
   Marinette Marine Corporation Photo - October 2014
   "Mayport Moves Closer To Being LCS Hub On East Coast" - November 13, 2014
   LCS Now Officially Called A Frigate - January 15, 2015


   Christening, Launching and Commissioning of U.S. Navy Ships - February 1, 2015
   LITTLE ROCK is moved out of construction building! - March 21, 2015
   Navy continues funding for Marinette Marine combat ships - April 1, 2015
   LITTLE ROCK Mast Stepping Ceremony - April 23, 2015
   LITTLE ROCK is Christened at Marinette Marine - July 18, 2015
   US Navy Commissions new USS Little Rock next to namesake - August 5, 2015
   Pentagon Cuts LCS to 40 Ships, 1 Shipbuilder - December 17, 2015
   LCS 9 Crew 109's Mayport Crew Commissioning Ceremony - January 8, 2016


   "New USS Little Rock to be commissioned at Canalside" - April 16, 2016
   New USS Little Rock to be commissioned in Buffalo - April 26, 2016
   LCS Crew 109 Volunteers With USS Little Rock Association - May 15, 2016
   Mayport set to welcome two more 'ships of the future' - December 30, 2016
   LITTLE ROCK LCS 9 Completes Builder's Trials - August 21, 2017
   "New USS Little Rock passes seaworthy test" (Video) August 31, 2017


   Navy service nearing for future USS Little Rock Commissioning - October 8, 2017
   New USS Little Rock Commissioning set for Dec. 16 at Canalside - October 18, 2017
   Future USS Little Rock to be Commissioned in Buffalo, New York - October 31, 2017
   'New' USS Little Rock a tribute to Buffalo, Navy's proud past - November 6, 2017
   Commissioning of USS Little Rock to take place on Dec. 16 - November 10, 2017
   USS Little Rock commissioning events announced - November 10, 2017
   USS Little Rock has Official Chicken Wing Recipe - November 17, 2017
   Lockheed Martin makes the combat ship more lethal - November 18, 2017
   No more tickets left for Commissioning Ceremony - November 20, 2017
   USS Little Rock arrives Dec. 8, but getting a tour will be tough! - November 27, 2017
   Little Rock LCS 9 to arrive in Buffalo earlier than expected - November 29, 2017
   Dec. 16 Commissioning Ceremony set for USS Little Rock - December 1, 2017


   USS Little Rock LCS 9 commissioned in Buffalo, NY alongside USS Little Rock CL92 / CLG 4 / CG4
   The U.S. Navy's Newest Ship is Trapped in Canada - January 22, 2018
   USS Little Rock crew embraces being stuck in Montreal - January 24, 2018
   USS Little Rock LCS 9 departs Montreal - March 31, 2018
   USS Little Rock LCS 9 Stops at Little Creek, VA - April 8, 2018
   USS Little Rock LCS 9 will participate in Fleet Week 2018 - May 3, 2018
   USS Little Rock Visited by Thousands at Fleet Week 2018 while open to the public at Staten Island, NY - May 30, 2018
   USS Little Rock LCS 9 Change of Command and Crew - November 9, 2018
   LCS Blue-Gold Crews Catch On! January 30, 2019
   The Navy is sending one of its newest ships to hunt high-seas drug smugglers. - February 9, 2019
   USS Little Rock LCS 9 began its maiden deployment - February 10, 2020


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