SAN DIEGO (January 18, 2019) – USS Independence (LCS 2) held a change of command on the ship’s flight deck while pierside at Naval Base San Diego, Jan. 11.
Cmdr. Matt Scarlett, a native of Ravenna, Ohio, assumed command of the ship from Cmdr. Emily Cathey, a native of Statesville, North Carolina.
Cathey completed a successful 19-month command tour with Independence, which included numerous certification events, testing of littoral combat ship mine warfare equipment, tactics development and training.
“Having command of Independence and her crew has been the greatest experience of my naval career,” said Cathey. “Helping to develop the Navy’s newest program is by no means easy, and this crew has exceeded all expectations along the way. I could not be more proud of their achievements and they have made a lasting impact on the future of this ship and the LCS program.”
Cathey’s next assignment is at the Surface Mine Warfare Development Center in San Diego.
Scarlett, who most recently served as commanding officer of USS Manchester (LCS 14), said he was honored to assume command of such a dedicated crew and the first vessel of the class variant.
“I look forward to leading such a tremendous crew,” said Scarlett. “Independence and her Sailors are known throughout this program as the subject matter experts, and it is thrilling to join their ranks.”
Independence currently serves as a Research & Development (R & D) platform and is assigned to Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE. Along with USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) and USS Coronado (LCS 4), Independence performs a distinct mission – simultaneously advancing Navy technology while enabling other LCS to focus on future operations and rotational deployments.
Unlike traditional LCS, R & D testing ships are manned by permanent crews and do not rotate on and off hull.
LCS vessels are high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatants designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.