USS Fort Worth Conducts CUES with Chinese Navy
USS Fort Worth Conducts CUES
with Chinese Navy
By Lt. Lauryn Dempsey, Destroyer
Squadron (DESRON) 7 Public Affairs.
Singapore – (NNS)
– February 26, 2015 – The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced
the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People's Liberation
Army-Navy [PLA(N)] Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the
professional maritime relationship between U.S. 7th Fleet and the PLA(N).
USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) operating in the
Fort Worth and Hengshui were conducting routine training and
operations in international waters of the South China Sea when the ships
realized a training opportunity was present.
CUES, a set of procedures endorsed by naval leaders at the
Western Pacific Naval Symposium in April 2014, is a guideline for unplanned
maritime encounters while at sea, providing standards for communication, safety
procedures and maneuvering instructions for naval ships and aircraft.
"The interaction with the Hengshui was safe and routine, and
the professionalism that was on display by both ships is commendable," said Cmdr.
Matt Kawas, Fort Worth Crew 103 commanding officer. "As the first underway for
Crew 103 aboard Fort Worth in U.S. 7th Fleet, this was a real-time situation
where we relied upon our months of training in San Diego to execute."
Fort Worth and Hengshui rendezvoused and used CUES as a
signaling protocol to indicate ship maneuvering.
"Having a standardized protocol of safety procedures, basic
communications and basic maneuvering instructions is critical as we work
together to prevent mishaps and miscommunications at sea," said Capt. Fred
Kacher, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7. "This will likely not be the last time
Fort Worth conducts CUES as she continues to operate extensively throughout
Southeast Asia and expand her operational footprint to Northeast Asia during the
remaining 12 months of her deployment to the Asia-Pacific."
Fort Worth departed Singapore Feb. 19 following the first of
three crew swaps as part of the ship's maiden 16-month deployment to the
Asia-Pacific. Fort Worth is the first LCS to deploy under the "3-2-1" manning
concept, which allows LCS to sustain a 16-month forward presence without
fatiguing the crew during the extended deployment. It is named "3-2-1" because
three rotational crews will support two LCS ships and maintain one deployed ship.
Two additional crew swaps will occur during the remainder of Fort Worth's
deployment, roughly every four months.
During the first five days of the current underway period,
the crew conducted at-sea workups to maintain the proficiency achieved as part
of their deployment certification in San Diego. Fort Worth is now headed north
for Foal Eagle in March. Held annually with the Republic of Korea navy, Foal
Eagle is also the first exercise in Northeast Asia that incorporates LCS
Fort Worth is the second LCS to deploy as part of an
initiative for up to four rotational deployments of these ships simultaneously
to U.S. 7th Fleet in the coming years. Fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral
combat ships are designed to operate in near shore environments and employ
modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine
countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare.
Fort Worth will employ the surface warfare mission package
for her entire deployment, augmenting her 57mm gun and rolling airframe missile
launcher with two 30mm guns, two 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats, two
six-member maritime security boarding teams, a MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter and a
MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system.
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations
in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of
operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet interacts
with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime
security, promote stability and prevent conflict.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th