USS Freedom marks first deployment

Feb. 17, 2010 at 12:13 PM

MAYPORT, Fla., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's first littoral combat ship built by a Lockheed Martin-led defense contractor team has been deployed to support U.S. Southern Command.

The Navy's USS Freedom, the first littoral combat ship homeported in San Diego, set out on its maiden deployment Monday. The 378-foot USS Freedom departed from Naval Station Mayport in Florida to support SOUTHCOM operations.

The USS Freedom, delivered by the Lockheed Martin team to the Navy in 2008, is designed coastal waters missions including counter-submarine warfare and mine-sweeping services among other surface combatant applications.

"We congratulate the USS Freedom and her crew on their maiden deployment as this new class of littoral combat ships begins to fulfill important global security missions," Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

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