Browsing: Gator Navy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h71avEN8KYA You’re probably familiar with the Rifleman’s Creed, recited by Marine Corps recruits at boot camp. This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. But have you heard about the Deck Seaman’s Creed? Any sailor (and maybe officer) worth his or her salt knows the deep relationships formed during sweepers. My broom, without me, is useless. Without my broom, I am useless. The video hit the web March 21, posted by (presumably) Seaman Spencer Myers aboard the amphibious assault ship America. Sweep on, Seaman.

ABOARD THE AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP WASP — Greetings from the Atlantic Ocean, where we’re covering the largest amphibious exercise on the East Coast since the beginning of the Iraq war. Bold Alligator 2012 involves at least 14,000 personnel from the U.S., France, Great Britain and other countries, and at least 25 ships. The majority of them are American, but Canada and France have both chipped in with their own hardware, as well. Conceptually, the forces at sea are currently in the early stages of planning an attack on enemy forces from the fictional country of Garnet, a common enemy in…

SURFLANT and the San Antonio wanted to tout what officials are calling a successful second phase of sea trials for the much-troubled ship, so they invited me and five other reporters and photogs to ride out from Rudee’s Inlet in Virginia Beach aboard an 11-meter RHIB Wednesday morning and conduct interviews on board as the amphibious transport dock ship sailed back to Norfolk. The sea state out where San Antonio was steaming was about a 2, a sailor told me. But at the inlet, he said, it was more like a 4 or 5. It made for an interesting 7…

No, it’s not a doctored photo. That’s two — TWO — San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships operating simultaneously. To be fair, two of the other three commissioned ships in the class are also at sea. Mesa Verde and Green Bay are deployed. New Orleans just completed sea trials following a scheduled maintenance period. New York took part in the recent Fleet Week event in New York City and, as you can see in the June 9 photo above, is now underway, conducting unit-level training. But let’s face it: This is a rare pic — particularly since San Antonio is…

The much-maligned amphibious transport dock ship San Antonio returned to Norfolk Thursday afternoon after 10 days of sea trials, and commanding officer Cmdr. Thomas Kait seemed like a very happy man during a press availability in his onboard cabin. “I would characterize it as an A-plus,” Kait told reporters. “I don’t know how many times I said `great’ or said, `This is the first time this ship’s done this in two years’.” Kait said crew morale was sky-high, “just knowing that their gear worked. All the hard work they put forth over the past two years. I know there were…

A year ago, the dock landing ship Oak Hill was in poor shape — and that’s by the Fleet Forces Command chief’s reckoning. Beginning in 2005, five deployments in five years, no time for maintenance and inadequate manning had left the relatively young ship with a degraded power plant, endemic corrosion and a whole lot of systems that just didn’t work. A long-overdue yard period, money, lots of outside help and long hours produced a remarkable turnaround Apr. 4-8, when the ship passed its rigid underway material inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey with flying colors. Oak Hill…

The deputy commander of Fleet Forces Command used his keynote speech at the decommissioning of the amphibious assault ship Nassau in Norfolk March 31 to stump for continued support for the “Gator Navy” and the capability to launch U.S. Marines onto contested shore, arguing that such a capability reduces the need for U.S. bases on foreign shores. Vice Adm. Peter Daly pointed to the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit providing humanitarian assistance and disaster response following the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northern Japan; the Boxer ARG and 13th MEU being accelerated into the Persian…

The amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde left its Naval Station Norfolk pier at 9:05 Wednesday morning as the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group began deploying to the Med and the Libya crisis. As it pulled away, its wake gently lapped up against the starboard-side hull of San Antonio, moored at the next pier over, in what amounted to a love tap. Mesa Verde’s crew might have preferred delivering more of a kick in the rear. The third ship in the class, Mesa Verde had been home only eight months since its last overseas deployment, and it wasn’t supposed to deploy until…

The latest hijacking an American couple aboard their yacht Quest by Somali pirates is capturing more of the public’s attention than have dozens of other acts of piracy on the high seas, notably off east Africa where pirates are finding gold in the ransoms sought for their captured vessels ranging from large container ships to smaller craft. Pirates, it seems, face pretty good odds as they wait out for the big payday. Once in awhile, pirates are plain overwhelmed, by firepower or manpower or just will to fight. We saw that when Navy SEAL snipers aboard the destroyer Bainbridge killed all…

Happy Friday, everyone. The gator Navy is a little different from the rest of the service, mostly because its sailors have to drive around a bunch of bored Marines for months at a time. Unless you’ve been in the gator world it’s hard to know what that’s like. But the sailors of the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard wanted to give you a little taste of gator living. This retro, late-1980s sounding rap song is the Scoop Deck bored sailor video of the week. Observe:

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