01/04/2015: The third Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Fort Worth, is on its maiden deployment in the Pacific.
It is home ported in San Diego, and is currently part of the search team for the missing A320 which crashed in the Pacific.
The USS Fort Worth is deployed with a Fire Scout and Seahawk on board, and part of the mission is to work the integration of the two in support of at sea operations.
(Dec. 17, 2014) An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system from the “Magicians” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, the Navy’s first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron, conducts flight operations aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3).
Credit: USS Fort Worth:12/17/14
As noted in a January 3, 2015 article published in Stars and Stripes:
A second U.S. Navy ship deployed to assist in the search efforts for AirAsia Flight 8501 has arrived in the search zone and begun recovery efforts, according to 7th Fleet.
The USS Fort Worth, a littoral combat ship based in San Diego, arrived in the area Saturday, the fleet said in a news release. It joins the Navy destroyer USS Sampson, also based in San Diego, which arrived Monday. The Sampson has recovered the bodies of 12 who were aboard the passenger jet that went down Dec. 28, the news release said.
The Fort Worth departed for Asia in November as part of a 16-month rotational deployment. It has a crew of 24, with a 24-person aviation squadron, and is the first LCS to deploy with both an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and an MQ-8B Fire Scout drone helicopter.