Naval Station Mayport’s newest ship has arrived.
The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9) pulled in to its homeport Thursday morning for the first time since it was commissioned.
The crew lined the rails in their dress blues as the crowd of friends, families, and shipmates greeted the ship with flowers, signs and waving American flags.
The USS Little Rock made a memorable entrance, blasting the song “Back in Black” after mooring.
The ship also played this song when pulling into Buffalo, N.Y., for commissioning, as a tribute to the ship’s namesake, USS Little Rock (CL-92), and to ring in their motto “Back With a Vengeance,” according to the Atlantic Naval Surface Force.
“Little Rock is a fast, lethal ship ready to go out and fulfill her mission,” said Cmdr. Todd Peters, the ship’s commanding officer in a news release.
“The crew worked relentlessly to bring her home and make their way ‘Back With a Vengeance.’ We are ready to make final preparations to deploy and carry our motto into history.”
The homecoming completes a three-and-a-half month journey from Marinette, Wis., where the ship was built.
“After so many months of training and preparing, we are proud to bring Little Rock home to Mayport,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Brett Ragan, whose wife and baby daughter were waiting on the pier, the Atlantic Naval Surface Force reported.
“The families back home have been so supportive during this entire process; it is great to see the crew reunited with their families and to show off our ship,” said Operations Specialist Senior Chief Tarius Williams. “We are proud of Little Rock. It is great to see it in the Mayport basin joining the Atlantic fleet.”
Little Rock is the fifth freedom-variant LCS to join the fleet.
“Bringing the ship home is the first step to getting her ready for the bigger mission,” said Ens.
Brandon Alcorn. “USS Little Rock is an agile, capable ship ready to meet the demands of the