USS Freedom joins Pacific's 7th Fleet

The USS Freedom, the Navy's first littoral combat ship, has joined the Pacific's 7th Fleet.

The arrival of the Freedom comes on the heels of warnings from North Korea that it was placing its artillery and rocket units into "combat posture" to target U.S bases and mainland United States, Fox News reports.

The Freedom arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility on March 20. The area includes more than 48 million square miles west of the International Date Line to the western coast of India. Approximately 100 ships and submarines are deployed to the area at any given time.

The fleet celebrated the 70th anniversary of maintaining security and stability on March 15, just prior to the arrival of the Freedom.

While deployed, the Freedom will participate in large-scale training exercises with regional partners involving maritime security operations, according to Fox News.

The Freedom was designed and developed by Lockheed Martin to be quick and agile. It is loaded with mission packages that are configurable for surface warfare, countering sea mines or anti-submarine warfare.

The crew of 91 aboard the Freedom is led by Cmdr. Timothy Wilke, but the Freedom can be operated with as little as 40 core sailors plus support crew for its aviation and mission packages.