MQ-8C Fire Scout First Deployment
US Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron HSC-22, “Sea Knights”, Detachment 5 completed the first operational deployment of the Bell / Northrop-Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout drone helicopter aboard littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in the Caribbean Sea
US Navy, February 16, 2022 - CARIBBEAN SEA - The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) and French Floréal-class frigate FS Germinal (F-735) conducted a bilateral maritime exercise in the Caribbean Sea, Feb. 16, 2022.
Forces practiced a series of tactical shipboard movements called division tactics (DIVTACS), which include precise turns and formations, and “leapfrogs,” where the ships are positioned in a straight line and take turns overtaking one another.
The units also tested command and control capabilities, providing the opportunity for both navies to improve interoperability and demonstrate their ability to communicate, navigate, and operate together at sea.
In addition to the ships, Milwaukee flew their MH-60S assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 5 during the exercise.
“The chance to work with one of our NATO allies here in the Caribbean was a valuable training opportunity,” said Cmdr. Brian Forster, commanding officer of Milwaukee. “Anytime you have a chance to sharpen your skills with a NATO ally and show the world we are a global force is time well spent. FS Germinal is a capable warship, which I hope to sail with in the future to accomplish a wide array of missions.
”Bilateral engagements afford the opportunity for partner nations to develop a greater trust, understanding and respect for each other’s unique capabilities all while improving crews' knowledge and demonstrating shared tactics. This allows both navies to build capacity for future operations, maintain readiness at sea, and support continued efforts to ensure security and stability.
Milwaukee is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.
USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) with French Navy Floreal-class frigate Germinal (F-735)