Provide Southcom With Permanently Assigned Littoral Combat Ships

CIMSEC – Assigning permanent vessels to SOUTHCOM will require special funding so the combatant command can shoulder the burden of funding ships the Navy may not want to pay for. This funding is not only needed for fuel and maintenance of the ships, but also increased manning at Fourth Fleet and logistical support in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Navy, Department of Defense, and Congress need to take appropriate budgetary considerations in the upcoming fiscal years so the LCS(s) can operate under SOUTHCOM as permanently assigned assets. With its extremely limited resources, SOUTHCOM bolsters U.S. interests and supports U.S. allies across Latin America and the Caribbean. While no other combatant commands (or the Navy in general) appears that interested in the LCSs, imagine the outsized impact SOUTHCOM could reap with these permanently-assigned ships.