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By Norma Morant
DCMA Northrop Grumman Baltimore
“Request permission to come aboard” was the instruction that Defense Contract Management Agency Baltimore’s Marlon Jordan, an administrative contracting officer, gave his colleagues as they were taught how to properly board the USS Milwaukee.
Jordan and Stephanie Ruth, who are both Navy veterans, joined their colleagues from DCMA Baltimore and DCMA Northrop Grumman Baltimore as they toured the USS Milwaukee during Fleet Week here Oct. 4. The USS Milwaukee is the Navy’s third Freedom-class littoral combat ship and is the fifth one to be commissioned in active service.
Ruth, a contract administrator, emphasized the importance of first rendering honors to the national ensign that was flown at the stern of the ship by addressing it at attention. Jordan then informed the group to address the quarterdeck and request permission to come aboard.
The ship, named after Wisconsin’s largest city, was commissioned in November 2015. It is commanded by Navy Cmdr. Christopher Farricker, and the ship was moored at the Inner Harbor’s waterfront to take part in Fleet Week.
Fleet Week is a bi-annual event that celebrates Maryland’s maritime heritage and the contributions made in defense of the nation by Marylanders. The USS Milwaukee was the only U.S. combat ship berthed at the Inner Harbor alongside Canada’s minesweeper, HMCS Moncton, and Great Britain’s battle-honored Black Duke frigate, HMS Monmouth.
The tour was of particular significance to DCMA Baltimore as it is the lead contract management office for the Freedom variant LCS program with a designated program support team that consists of a program integrator, quality, manufacturing and production, software and earned value management teams.
“The program support team is responsible for reporting the status of hundreds to thousands of supporting supplies outfitting the LCS for the customer. DCMA contract management offices around the globe support the LCS. Rolls Royce gas turbines are one example of the piece parts and assemblies overseen by DCMA,” said Joseph Maurer, a supervisor at DCMA Baltimore.
According to Maurer, the Freedom variant LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow-draft, and networked surface ship that was conceived to defeat more shallow-water threats such as small, fast craft, and dominate the coastal water battlespace. The ship was designed with flexibility in mind and supports other missions such as special operations and maritime interdiction.
The Independence variant has a similar mission set, however, it features a dramatically different trimaran hull design. The USS Milwaukee measures 118.1 meters or 387.6 feet in length. The ship’s beam is 17.6 meters or 57.7 feet, and has a full load displacement of approximately 3,450 metric tons. Its range is 3,500 nautical miles at 14 knots and approximately 1,000 nautical miles at full load sprint speed, and it can accommodate a crew of up to 75.
“I had the privilege of boarding the USS Milwaukee at various stages of construction as the former LCS program integrator, but this occasion was the most rewarding since I got to tour the ship with our DCMA family,” said Ricardo Barriera, DCMA Northrop Grumman Baltimore’s acting deputy director.
“It was great to listen to the sailors and their genuine excitement for using the systems we contributed to deliver,” he added. “We forged a closer bond with our Navy customer and a stronger connection to our role in our nation’s defense.”
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