USS Milwaukee towed to port after breaking down

Although the U.S. Navy’s fifth Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, the USS Milwaukee, was commissioned November 21, the ship arrived at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB), Virginia, December 11.

This delay was caused by the discovery of metallic debris in the port and starboard combining gear filter systems.

USS Milwaukee was en route to Little Creek following the ship’s commissioning in Milwaukee, November 21. The ship was approximately 40 nautical miles off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, when it experienced the loss of propulsion. With the tow services of USNS Grapple (T-ARS 53), the ship arrived at JEB Little Creek-Fort Story and will undergo full diagnostics and repair.

The Milwaukee crew initially took action when they discovered very fine metallic debris in the port combining gear filter system. The crew cleaned the combining gear filters following established procedures but locked the port shaft as a precautionary measure to prevent possible shaft damage.

After that, while conducting routine steering checks, the ship lost pressure in the starboard combining gear lube oil system. The casualty was due to similar metallic debris contamination of the filter.

The freedom-variant of the littoral combat ships is being built by the Lockheed Martin team at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.

On December 1, 2015, Lockheed Martin announced it won a $279 M deal from the U.S. Navy to fund the build of USS Cooperstown, the nation’s 23rd of the overall 52 expected littoral combat ships.

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