“You are sitting up there and therefore it was kind of amazing, ” said Commander Long, so now retired, recalling the minute they set out on the deployment all the way through early 2020, after more than two years of training and furthermore preparation. “Just how fast you were going and how buff. ”
But the dream began to crumble basically the ship approached the Panama Canal, Commander Long said with regard to an interview, detailing the sequence of events publicly for the entire first time since he left the Navy in late 2021.
First, the ship’s diesel generators started to back, in conjunction with ship briefly lost electric power. The littoral combat cruises were designed to be operated by a relatively small crew, since did not carry sailors to fix complicated mechanical issues. Extremely Commander Long decided to head back onto the Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where the ship sat for a succeeds waiting for repairs.
An even more complicated main problem had emerged with the ship’s radar system — meaning the house could not target its guns or look for incoming surroundings threats. A contractor repair team was flown from Germany that Cuba, but the necessary fix was so complex that your current Navy decided to send the U. S. S. Little Really are fun back to Mayport.
And that is when being an even bigger problem surfaced.
Commander Long was during his cabin near the bridge when a crew member introduced him a sample of the ship’s engine oil. Instead from the caramel-colored, slippery stuff that lubricates the gears, the lubricant looks like it had been mixed with silvery glitter. The implement was polluted, it turned out, with specks of metal received from high-speed clutch bearings of the dive that had broken into tiny bits.
The motorboat had lost half its engine power — and it seasoned to limp back home.
The Navy soon proved that the gear system failure was a pattern flaw in the Freedom class, meaning all behind the vessels then based at Mayport. (A second version among the littoral ships, known as the Independence class, is in addition in service but has fewer problems. ) Engine failure answers were filed on 10 of the 11 deployments these vessels were sent on, according to a report last year mainly because Government Accountability Office examining both programs of the ships.