USS Fort Worth crew returns after personnel switch - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USS Fort Worth crew returns after personnel switch

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The crew that took the San Diego-based littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth to Southeast Asia late last year and helped searched for a crashed airliner is scheduled to return home Wednesday.

Crew 104, which deployed in November, traded places with another crew after four-months on station. The Navy plans three crew rotations, which will keep the Fort Worth on station for 16 months and reduce crew fatigue.

The sailor switch-out was completed Tuesday, according to the Navy. Sailors with Crew 103 flew to Singapore last week.

Crew 104 was called on to help find the wreckage of an AirAsia Airbus A-320, which went down during a storm Dec. 28 with 162 aboard.

"Fort Worth has already answered the call from a regional partner very early in her first 16-month rotational deployment -- this early success speaks to the operational value that LCS brings to Seventh Fleet and we look forward to bringing more of these ships to the region simultaneously in the coming years," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and commander of Task Force 73.

A detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35 conducted 230 flight hours with one MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and a MQ-8B Fire Scout. They searched more than 2,500 square miles in the Java Sea in support of the airliner search effort.

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