July 1 (UPI) -- The USS Montgomery arrived in the Philippines, it's first deployment and the first time in 19 months any littoral combat ship has been used in forward deployment.
The ship, with 70 personnel on board, is on its first deployment after leaving its home port of San Diego without announcement of its departure, the Navy said on Monday.
After making a port of call on June 10 in Hawaii, it arrived at in Davao City on the Philippine island of Mindanao on Saturday for what Cmdr. Edward Rosso called a goodwill visit.
"Port visits allow us to demonstrate our commitment to maritime security in the region while strengthening relationships with our friends, partners, and allies," Rosso said.
The Montgomery, one of three LCS vessels expected to be deployed this year, is the first deployment of an LCS in more than 19 months. The last was the USS Coronado, which was deployed from June 2016 to December 2017.
Fast and agile, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near-shore, shallow water situations as well as ocean crossings. The ships employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare.
The USS Montgomery undertook its first five-day Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical training exercise in April. Crews practiced surface warfare operations, including live-fire shots and use of its SeaRAM missile defense system, as well as anti-air warfare operations. It is part of the Navy's 7th Fleet, which supports U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Montgomery was commissioned in September 2016, and months later was damaged while transiting the Panama Canal.