The U.S. Navy's newest littoral combat ship, the USS Milwaukee, recently had to be towed back to port in Virginia after experiencing a loss of propulsion caused by metal debris in its gear filter systems.

The ship's crew initially took action when they discovered very fine metallic debris in the port combining gear filter system. The crew cleaned the combining gear filters following established procedures and locked the port shaft as a precautionary measure to prevent possible shaft damage.

However, while conducting routine steering checks three days later, the crew noticed that the ship had lost pressure in the starboard combining gear lube oil system. This problem was also determined to be caused by similar metallic debris contamination of the filter.

The $362-million ship was on its way to Mayport, Florida, following its commissioning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Nov. 21. It was approximately 40 nautical miles off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, when it experienced the loss of propulsion.

With the tow services of USNS Grapple, the ship arrived at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, where it will undergo full diagnostics and repair.

A Freedom-variant of the littoral combat ship, the USS Milwaukee will eventually be ported in San Diego, California.

For more information, visit www.navy.mil.