Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


OldSkool2010: Gator Freighter

OldSkool2010: Part 1.2 (Gator)

One of my classmates at Defense Acquisition U. (the purpose of this June trip to America's Finest City) is a department head aboard USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD-8), the newest "gator freighter" in the fleet. He sponsored a tour for us -- it's not often that you get to see a U.S. Navy ship with only one coat of paint..... So we invited J-man's Godmother Andra and her husband Brad (a retired USMC Gunnery Sergeant) to join us for a Saturday tour.

At Pier 8, aboard the 32nd Street Naval Station, USS MAKIN ISLAND was moored next to USS BOXER (LHD-4). BOXER has amassed an impressive set of campaign ribbons and honors -- including three crossed-cutlass pirate skulls beneath her "Battle 'E's" from her rotation with Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151):

Since MAKIN ISLAND is newly commissioned, she has not yet garnered the same accolades.

The quarterdeck is on the hangar deck, with generous acknowledgment of the senior member of our class (a U.S. Navy Captain) by the Officer of the Deck.

As an "Amphibious Assault Ship / Landing Dock" (LHD class), MAKIN ISLAND is designed to fill its aft area (called the "Well Deck") with water and lower a ramp to allow USMC assault vehicles and hovercraft to exit for maneuver to their objectives. Jarrett and my classmate Tyler check out the Well Deck:

Cap'n Sophie!

Sophie mans the helm:

Sophie and Andra at the Quarterdeck:

Andra checks out Marine berthing. Yes, that three-high bunk bed is where they live for more than six months at a time.... Their only personal storage is in the cabinet beneath their mattress:

Old Glory waves over San Diego Bay, with the Coronado Bridge in the background:

Next up: Family Reunions in San Diego.

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At 27/3/12 00:17 , Anonymous rigging training said...

I wish I could visit that floating freighter of the United States navy. It seems like an enjoyable trip.

At 22/5/12 11:27 , Anonymous Fall Protection Miami Florida said...

It's so sad that those assault navy ships are only docked there for show only. I know they have a great use for our defense but shouldn't it be more fitting if the US just donate those to other countries in Asia who are in dire need of naval defense too? Just my two cents.

At 1/6/12 09:44 , Anonymous conveyancers said...

I hope you guys had a lot of fun!


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