News | Nov. 9, 2016

Port Hueneme supports new storage and distribution mission for Navy Littoral Combat Ships

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Diego, Calif., at Port Hueneme, has partnered with the Navy Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships to support the battle spares program by storing main propulsion engines for the LCS program at a central location. 

DLA will be responsible for storing the ship’s main engines, some weighing as much as 122,000 pounds, in addition to smaller end items critical to the ship’s mission. Routinely, LCS materials are purchased by the PEO and stored at several Government locations. However, DLA Distribution and PEO LCS are now partnering to provide a storage location with improved transportation access and environmental storage conditions for these important materials.

On September 6, DLA Distribution San Diego, Calif. at Port Hueneme received a shipment that contained a main propulsion engine. This engine weighs 122,000 pounds and is over 26 feet long. Over the next year, they expect to receive additional LCS equipment for long-term storage, including a slightly smaller diesel engine that weighs over 110,000 pounds and is over 24 feet long.

“This has been a logistical challenge for such a small military base,” said Port Hueneme site director John Crandall.

The LCS program is a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs.  The development of the new and unique design and its associated mission modules concept took into account reliance on off-ship support, focused maintenance execution and off-ship performance of preventive and facilities maintenance.  LCS uses three rotating crews to operate two ships keeping one of the ships forward deployed and reliance on shore based and virtual training.

LCS is presently fielding two variants of ships; the Freedom Variant, a steel hulled, aluminum superstructure mono-hull design, and the Independence Variant, an all-aluminum tri-maran hull.  Both Variants embark inter-changeable mission modules.  Port Hueneme will be storing some of the battle spares for both Variants.

Both variants have a top speed of over 40 knots and are equipped with weapons systems, can embark two MH60 Seahawk helicopters or MQ8B Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and a core crew of 50 officers and sailors, plus berthing space for an additional 50 mission package/aviation detachment personnel. 

Missions include counter-fast Inshore Assault Craft, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Mine Countermeasures, Maritime Interdiction Operations, and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery Operations which depend on varied interchangeable mission sets, mission detachments and aviation assets with the core crew.