Thursday, November 12, 2009

USS New York

We visited the USS New York, LPD-21 (Landing Platform, Dock), and Gramma came along too.

The USS New York is a state of the art amphibious assault ship, and was commissioned on November 7, 2009. Her bow contains 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center. Her motto is : Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget. She can carry a crew of 363 (360 Navy, 3 Marines), and an expeditionary landing force of 699 Marines.

This is Mikro's description of our day:

We went on the USS NY. It's big, but it's not as big as the Intrepid. They had just a few helicopters on the flight deck --Intrepid has more aircraft-- and they also had tanks you could go in, and a new technology prototype which you couldn't [go in]. And no bathrooms. At least, none that were signed as restrooms! It was fun. I went with my Gramma. And there was also something that was very sharp that was on the floor. It can rip flesh. It's called "No Skid". [He was warned about falling on No Skid surfaces before we boarded, and I guess he took the warnings to heart!] My favorite thing on the ship was going in a tank. In the Humvee, that is where the Marine was the expert, not Dad, In the tank, Dad was the expert.

(I bet the Marine on the tank was just as expert, but he was so occupied with trying to keep the crowd of people atop the tank from falling off and hurting themselves, he didn't have a lot of time to chat.)

First stop on the tour is the hanger deck, where there are armored vehicles on display.

M1A1 Main Battle Tank:

An AAV (Assault Amphibious Vehicle):

Next stop, down the very steep ramp to the well deck, where the LCACs (Landing Craft, Air Cushioned) are:

The USS New York carries two LCACs and 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles (EFVs).

Then up to the flight deck: Looking aft, forward, and to starboard at the Intrepid.

UH-1N Huey Helicopter:

CH53-E Super Stallion:

AH-1 Cobra:

MV-22 Osprey:

USS New York also carries CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, but none were on display when we visited.


Back inside and down to the hanger deck again, where there were more vehicles and Marines with displays of equipment, doing the occasional demo.

High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee):

Mikro climbed up in and monopolized the Marine's time with a stream of about a million questions, which were politely and thoroughly answered. "What does this do? What's that for?" etc.

Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-25):

Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) (the "prototype" Mikro didn't get to climb all over):

Mikro checks out this Marine's Squad Assault Weapon (SAW):

This was the first time Mikro has been aboard an active duty US Navy ship, and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thank you to all the sailors and marines who made it such a terrific day. And more importantly, thank you all for your service to our country. I wish we lived in a world where no mother's son (or daughter) was ever in harm's way, but as the steel in your ship's bow silently testifies, we do not. I am grateful for your willingness to protect us all.