BUFFALO, N.Y. — The USS Little Rock, which was commissioned into service in Buffalo, has embarked on its maiden deployment.
The USS Little Rock, whose homebase is in Florida, will support the Campaign Martillo, a multinational effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along Central America.
"I expect this deployment to offer a great opportunity to work together with regional partners throughout Southern Command Area of Responsibility," said Cmdr. Brad Long, the USS Little Rock Gold Crew’s commanding officer, in a released statement. “We hope to advance and strengthen these partnerships to enhance the security in that region.”
This is the third deployment to this region in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force South’s Campaign MARTILLO. The USS Freedom was first deployed in 2010, followed by USS Detroit.
More than 90 sailors, surface warfare mission package personnel, U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Vehicles are aboard the USS Little Rock.
The ship is one of the Navy's most advanced. It cost more than $300 million to build, and unlike its predecessor, it's designed to operate closer to shore and in as little as 14 feet of water. It features state-of-the-art weapons and navigation systems. It is the fifth such vessel to be put into service.
The USS Little Rock was commissioned on December 16, 2017 in Buffalo. It was the first time in the Navy's history that a ship was commissioned alongside its namesake; 8,500 people came down to Canalside to watch the ship come to life.