The US Navy's newest littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), has departed from Mobile, Alabama, to sail to its commissioning site in Galveston, Texas.
The LCS is set to commence her journey towards its final homeport of San Diego following the commissioning, which is currently scheduled for 10 June.
LCS Squadron 1 commander captain Matthew J. Harrison said: “We are pleased to receive the future USS Gabrielle Giffords into the LCS class.
“Gabrielle Giffords will join her sister LCSs in their homeport of San Diego in July and continue testing and training for future deployed operations.”
The USS Gabrielle Giffords will conduct regular scheduled equipment and systems checks, undergo training, and visit several ports as part of the sail around. It will also transit through the Panama Canal.
Littoral Combat Ship Crew 210 commanding officer commander Keith Woodley said: “We are making the most of our sail around; during the transit to San Diego, we will be conducting routine maintenance checks and training.
“We will also begin our Combat Ship Systems Qualification Trials events, which are designed to test the ship's ability to track and disable high-speed manoeuvring surface targets and defeat long-range anti-shipping air threats.”
USS Gabrielle Giffords is the ninth LCS delivered to the US Navy, and is the fifth vessel in the Independence class.
It is equipped with a unique hull and features a large flight deck, as well as advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities and the capability to operate at high speeds.
LCS vessels are high-speed, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant units that are available in two variants, the Freedom-class and Independence-class.
The ships have been developed to conduct operations both in littoral and open ocean environments.
Image: Austal's vessel completion yard where USNS Yuma (EPF 8), future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and future USS Omaha (LCS 12) are docked. Photo: courtesy of USA Austal.