San Diego welcomes USS Jackson to port

SAN DIEGO -- The third littoral combat ship of the Independence class, which features a trimaran hull, is scheduled to arrive at its San Diego home port Thursday.

The USS Jackson, the first warship to be named for the capital of Mississippi, was built in Mobile, Alabama. The vessel and its crew conducted training and equipment testing in Mayport, Florida, before beginning the voyage to San Diego.

On the way, the 418-foot-long Jackson visited Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Balboa, Panama; and Manzanillo, Mexico.

“USS Jackson's ability to arrive in its homeport of San Diego two months ahead of schedule and following successful completion of a comprehensive series of trials, including full ship shock trials, is not only a testament to the entire crew, but more importantly, it is a testament to the true sustainability and capability of this amazing warship,'' said Cmdr. Troy Fendrick, the commanding officer of one of the ship's rotating crews. “It's something the entire LCS community should be very proud of.''

According to the Navy, the shock trials are designed to demonstrate a ship's ability to withstand the impact of a nearby underwater explosion while retaining its battle capabilities.

The littoral combat ship is a fast, maneuverable vessel designed for fighting in coastal waters. However, the LCS program has suffered from a series of mechanical failures, including several recent major breakdowns in the propulsion system.

The Navy reported that one of those breakdowns, in the San Diego-based USS Fort Worth, was caused by a failure to adequately lubricate mechanical equipment. The Fort Worth is currently sailing back to its home port under its own power.