By Geoff Fein

The USS Freedom (LCS-1) returned to duty Wednesday after making repairs to one of two downed ship service diesel generators (SSDG) during a scheduled refueling stop in Panama, the Navy said.

Sometime before March 1, Freedom lost two of its forward generators (Nr 1 and 2). The ship is outfitted with four SSDGs, but is capable of operating on only two, Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, a Navy spokesman, told Defense Daily yesterday

"USS Freedom can operate normally on only two generators and has already done so," he said.

The stop-over in Panama follows a successful week of operations in theater that included an interdiction and recovery, Servello said. Last week, Freedom disrupted a high-speed "go-fast" vessel and recovered more than a quarter of a ton of cocaine during operations in the 4th Fleet’s area of responsibility (Defense Daily, March 1).

The ship was on its way to Colon, Panama for a planned refueling and logistics stop.

"Once required parts were identified by Freedom’s engineers, parts and a tech rep met the ship in Colon and repaired Nr 2 SSDG. After repairs were complete, the ship returned to sea," Servello said.

A technical rep remains onboard Freedom continuing to work on the remaining generator, he added.

"As of [Thursday], all parts have been identified and are being staged to meet the ship," Servello said. "These parts will allow Freedom’s engineers and the tech rep to repair Nr 1 SSDG."

Servello could not elaborate on where and when those repairs to Nr 1 SSDG will be made.

"Repairing Nr 1 SSDG will provide Freedom with a greater level of redundancy. There will be no impact to the deployment. The ship will continue with all scheduled events," he added.

Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Marinette Marine built Freedom. The four SSDGs are built by Isotta Fraschini, part of Fincantieri.