Sailors leave San Diego to swap out USS Fort Worth crew

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego-based sailors left for Singapore late Sunday night to replace the crew of the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth, in keeping with the Navy's rotational program designed to keep the vessel on station longer and prevent crew fatigue.

The Fort Worth, also based in San Diego, is in the midst of a 16-month deployment in Southeast Asia. Under the rotation system, full crews swap positions aboard the Fort Worth every four months or so.

The Navy said LCS Crew 103 and Detachment Two from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35 will fly from Naval Air Station North Island Sunday.

“We are ready and excited to have the privilege to sail Fort Worth again, helping to demonstrate U.S. forward presence and working with partner navies in the Pacific,'' said Cmdr. Matt Kawas, the LCS 103 commanding officer.

The type of vessel is designed for missions in coastal waters.

The Fort Worth, which sailed from San Diego in November, participated in the search for the crashed Air Asia jet last month off Indonesia before heading to Singapore for scheduled maintenance that was completed about one week ago.

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