BUFFALO, N.Y. — While the focus has been on the museum ship USS The Sullivans these past couple of weeks, another current Navy ship with ties to Buffalo now faces an uncertain fate in Washington once again.
You may remember from December 2017 the commissioning ceremony at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park for the current USS Little Rock which is now based in Florida.
It made history as the first Navy ship to officially join the fleet after being commissioned near its former name-sake the old USS Little Rock cruiser also at the Naval Park
But USNI News reports the Pentagon now proposes in its new budget request to Congress that the new Little Rock, which cost taxpayers more than $360 million, be decommissioned or scrapped because of potential costly repairs for their unique combining gear transmission systems.
The suggested Defense Department budget actually calls for nine of the Freedom variant ships of the LCS or Littoral Combat Ships should be taken out of service after only a few years because of constant repair issues.
Defense News reports the USS Little Rock had a temporary power loss in January and had to return to its home port in Mayport, Florida. The published report indicated the ship was actually conducting sea trials when the power problem occurred. That followed a 19 month period of maintenance work in dry dock at a Florida shipyard. The article says the power loss was not specifically linked to the previous transmission problem.
The USS Little Rock also drew national attention after it was forced to spend the winter season in the port of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River. The ship had to wait until March to finish its transit to its Florida base because of ice jamming the river.
The USS Little Rock and a sister ship USS Detroit were also on the Defense Department's hit list last year but survived as industry and members of Congress fought to save it.