Browsing: Ships

Let’s face it: Once you step into a new car – or even a previously-owned vehicle, as used-car dealers say – it’s just not exciting to drive older wheels. Classic rebuilt cars, the exception of course. Trading down just isn’t fun. So we can feel for the sailors and officers of amphibious assault ship Essex, who this spring took the Wasp-class big-deck Bonhomme Richard from their home in San Diego, Calif., and swapped hulls in Japan, where they exchanged ships and even the official Facebook pages with their Sasebo-based counterparts in the Navy’s latest scheduled hull swap. The San Diego-based crew…

An interactive exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy lets visitors learn about all the sailors who have commanded the USS Constitution. The exhibit, which will soon be available in the USS Constitution Museum in Boston and online as well, includes a timeline, a quiz and biographies of former commanders of the ship. The timeline also includes major events in naval history and how Old Ironsides played a part in them, said Jennifer Marland, assistant curator at the museum. “This ship covers almost all of our Navy’s history, so the biographies provide a way of looking at 215…

A euphemism is “the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant,” according to Merriam-Webster. An example might be couching a near-$1 billion increase in the cost of the most expensive ship ever in the most innocuous terms possible. My colleague Chris Cavas has a fine explainer story in the print version of this week’s Defense News on the soaring cost of CVN 78, the Gerald R. Ford. Chris notes that the Navy’s recently unveiled fiscal year 2013 budget request asks Congress for another $811 million atop a total price tag of…

No matter what the service, military rescue swimmers are a pretty remarkable bunch. In addition to being skilled at their normal rating duties, they’re able — and willing — to be lowered into some pretty hair-raising situations that most normal folks would regard as out of the realm of possibility. The Atlantic waters looked to be fairly calm when the dock landing ship Gunston Hall conducted a man-overboard drill last week, as you can see: That’s a long way down, though. In addition, the water temperature was on the cool side. According to the National Oceanographic Data Center, the average…

On May 7, 1970, the Beatles released their last single: “The Long and Winding Road.” Last week, the amphibious transport dock Ponce, launched 13 days after the song and commissioned in July 1971, completed its own long journey, coming home for the last time after four decades of service. Those years were filled with significant events. Ponce helped evacuate nearly 300 mostly U.S. and British Westerners from Lebanon during the 1976 civil war, and supported 6th Fleet air strikes on pro-Syrian militia positions in defense of U.S. Marines ashore. It supported military disaster relief in Florida following 1992’s devastating Hurricane…

Stop hostile skiffs with a zap. Down enemy drones, too. These are some of the selling points of a new shipboard solid-state laser. Boeing and BAE Systems received a $2.8 million contract to test the 10-kilowatt commercial laser installed onto the 25mm gun mount, which is used aboard ship, in 2012. After decades of development, lasers have come far enough that a shipboard laser could enhance a warship’s self-defense, designers say. “If approached by a small boat with unclear intentions, a ship with Mk 38 [Tactical Laser System] could stop it with nonlethal means, such as frying the engine,” Amir…

Next year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and the Navy is helping the state of Maryland kick off its multi-year commemoration with a two-ship visit to Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor. The war with Great Britain that gave us the Star-Spangled Banner and “Don’t give up the ship!” was declared on June 18, 1812, and lasted another 2 1/2 years. The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will be marking the bicentennial through 2015 with week-long events, parades of sail, public visits and numerous other community relations activities in Baltimore, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Boston, and…

The Norfolk-based carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower is deep into the basic phase of pre-deployment training while underway in the Atlantic. Technically, it’s taking part in a Tailored Ship’s Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem, or TSTA/FEP, and conducting carrier qualifications for Carrier Air Wing 7 fliers. Ike will be out for several weeks to come, so it’s a busy time for the crews of the ship and the wing. All that activity demands fresh stores of all sorts. On Oct. 18 — not clear if it was pre-sunrise or post-sunset — the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic delivered the…

Army Secretary John McHugh gave the Navy — and in particular, its ship acquisition strategy — a poke in the ribs Monday at the annual Association of the U.S. Army meeting in Washington. According to CNN reporter Lisa Sylvester, McHugh took his shot in the context of the Columbus Day holiday: “But I’m a little confused as to why we’re kicking this great Army celebration off on Columbus Day,” McHugh said. “Frankly, I always thought of Columbus Day was kind of more of a Navy holiday. And I don’t mean it because of that 1492 ocean blue stuff, but in…

We couldn’t help but smile at the faces of these Russian boys, who got the chance to play sailor aboard the destroyer Fitzgerald during an outing from Parus Nadezhdy Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Vladivostok.  If we only knew what they were saying… The Yokosuka, Japan-based Fitzgerald wrapped up a four-day visit to Russia’s Pacific Fleet port city, where they joined in community projects, sporting matches with Russian sailors and visited sick children at a local hospital before returning to sea for a planned U.S.-Russian joint exercise. The Parus Nedezhdy center for orphan children is something of a regular guest when U.S.…

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