US Navy's Independence-variant LCS USS Jackson completes its first deployment

According to information published by the US DoD on October 26, 2022, Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) returned to Naval Base San Diego following its first deployment.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Jackson. (Picture source: US Navy)

The initial deployment provided Jackson’s two crews valuable experience and supported national objectives such as the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI).

Jackson Gold crew returned the ship to San Diego following two on-hull patrols throughout Oceania and the South China Sea in 2021 and 2022.

While on deployment, the Jackson Blue and Gold crews conducted concurrent operations with the ship’s MQ-8C Fire Scout, an unmanned aerial vehicle, and an embarked aviation detachment from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23.

As a small, shallow-draft surface combatant, Jackson conducted unique port visits in places such as Fiji, Palau, and Tahiti. The ship hosted international distinguished visitors including senior French Polynesian civilian and military leaders, the Governor of Saipan, senior Singaporean government and defense officials, and the U.S. ambassador to Singapore.

Jackson is homeported in San Diego as part of Surface Division Eleven and Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. LCS are versatile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments and win against 21st-century coastal threats. These ships provide forward presence and conduct maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions both near-shore and on the high seas.

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout (known as the Fire-X during development) is an unmanned helicopter developed by Northrop Grumman for use by the United States Navy.

The MQ-8C also has autonomous take-off and landing capability. It is designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, aerial fire support and precision targeting support for ground, air, and sea forces.