US Navy Decommissions USS Milwaukee After Only 7 Years

The US Navy has decommissioned the littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) after just seven years of service due to persistent issues that began 20 days after it was commissioned.

The retirement ceremony occurred after the Navy announced plans to prematurely decommission the ship alongside nine other littoral combat vessels due to a defect involving their combining gears.

The LCS-5 is the third and latest of the Navy’s decommissioned Freedom-class craft, following the USS Sioux City (LCS-11)’s retirement in August.

A Rich, Complicated History

Commanding officer Cmdr. Jason Knox led last week’s decommissioning ceremony, highlighting the ship’s involvement in the Navy’s growth and safety efforts.

“Throughout the life of the ship, the Sailors that sailed Milwaukee led the way in training and operations that led to fleet improvements and culminated with operational success,” he said.

The LCS-5 suffered propulsion issues 20 days after being commissioned in 2015 and had to be towed more than 40 nautical miles (74 kilometers/46 miles) to be repaired in Virginia.

The combat vessel was used to test anti-submarine tactics, focusing on deterrence and maritime security.

The ship also seized an estimated $27.4 million of cocaine and detained three individuals during interdiction missions in March.

What the Future Holds

No announcement has been made on whether or not LCS-5 will be placed in reserve.

Mothballing efforts were set up for two of the LCS program ships in the past, with USS Freedom (LCS-1), the lead ship of the Freedom-class craft, now placed on reserve status.

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