Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Sioux City (LCS 11) was decommissioned in Mayport, Fla., August 14. As an operational unit, Sioux City and its crew played an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom. Sioux City and its Sailors were key to determine the operational success and deployment capabilities of today’s LCS platform. During the ceremony guest speaker, Capt. Daniel Reiher, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Training Facility Atlantic, wished the crew of Sioux City fair winds and following seas as they bid farewell to their ship. Built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, Sioux City was commissioned November 17, 2018, at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Mary Winnefeld, a longtime resident of Sioux City, served as the ship’s sponsor.
“First off, it’s impressive and humbling to see the shipmates, past and present, and all the well-wishers gathered in attendance today. It’s easy to get locked into the day-to-day grind of running a ship and forget about those who came before you and those who hope and pray for your success,” said Cmdr. Michael Gossett, Sioux City’s commanding officer.
“Though our ship’s service ends today, her legacy does not. For years to come the Sailors who served onboard will carry forth lessons learned and career experiences gained. As those lessons and experiences are used to forge those that follow us, the legacy of SIOUX CITY will strengthen our Navy for generations to come.,” said Capt. Daniel Reiher, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Training Facility Atlantic.
Sioux City and its Sailors contributed a tremendous amount of work and time to ensure success of the LCS program during the ship’s time in naval service. Sioux City completed four successful deployments in December 2020, July 2021, December 2021 and October 2022. The ship deployed to U.S. Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Fleet, integrated with a carrier strike group, performed exercises with partner navies and conducted joint maneuvers with other U.S. Navy warships. While deployed in 2022, Sioux City provided maritime security presence enabling the free flow of commerce in key corridors of trade. Sioux City was also the first LCS to operate in U.S. Fifth and Sixth fleets across the Atlantic where they participated in counter drug trafficking operations with the U.S. Coast Guard to seize over 10,000 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $500 million.
USS Sioux City (LCS 11) is the first United States Navy Warship named after the city of Sioux City, Iowa. The ship represents the proud people of the Sioux Nation, a combination of the Dakota and Lakota Native American Tribes. Upon decommissioning, Sioux City will be placed into a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) disposition status, and its Sailors will receive follow-on orders to new assignments. LCS are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. LCS are versatile and are capable to support a broad spectrum of fleet missions and operate alongside regional navies and coast guards while supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.