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US to base four warships in Singapore as China flexes military muscles

Published: February 18, 2015
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Source: UK Guardian

“We will soon see up to four LCS here in Singapore as we rotationally deploy Seventh Fleet ships,” said Rear Admiral Charles Williams.

“We envision four ships here by May 2017 to sometime in 2018... but I think what you have is that by 2018, four LCS ships will be rotationally deployed here to Singapore.”

Williams, commander of the Seventh Fleet’s Task Force 73, was speaking to reporters aboard the USS Fort Worth, an LCS on a 16-month deployment to south-east Asia.

It replaced another LCS, the USS Freedom, which recently ended an eight-month tour of duty.

The USS Fort Worth is set to take part in exercise Foal Eagle, a joint military drill with South Korea from 24 February - 6 March.

It will also join regional navies in the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercises and the International Maritime Defence Exhibition.

“The role of the US navy in both south-east Asia and north-east Asia is about presence. It’s about being where it matters when it matters,” Williams said.

Fast and agile, LCS vessels can be adapted for specific missions through a system of interchangeable modules and crew.

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