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The U.S. Navy’s hottest new ship and the centerpiece of its renewed focus on Asia isn’t its largest vessel, or its most technologically advanced. But it has advantages that its bigger siblings lack.

The 388-foot USS Freedom is small enough to move among the many islands and shallow waters of Southeast Asia, a trait that allows the Navy to train alongside similar-sized vessels in the region’s navies and build relationships with them.

All this, the Navy believes, will help it make sure the region’s critical waterways stay open to the trillions of dollars in oil and other trade that passes through each year. It’s an objective so important the Navy is sending the Freedom to Singapore this month even as automatic federal spending cuts carve into its budget.

Read more at Fox News

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The U.S. Navy's hottest new ship and the centerpiece of its renewed focus on Asia…