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Ships From Norfolk Go, Cost of Freedom Part 2

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by jamming, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. jamming

    jamming Banned

    USS Ashland, one of seven Virginia-based ships to receive deployment orders in the past week, pulled away from a Navy pier Sunday as a military build up continued ahead of a possible war with Iraq. Three of the ships left port Friday, and the Ashland, USS Bataan, USS Kearsarge, and USS Portland were expected to follow on Sunday. Together, they can carry a landing force of more than 8,000 Marines.

    As the Ashland pulled away, a couple dozen family members waved from a cold, wind-swept parking lot near the pier. Kerri Rodriguez wiped away tears as she said goodbye to her husband, Petty Officer 2nd Class Edgar Rodriguez. She doesn't know when she and their three small children will see him next. "It's their job. If they've got to go, they've got to go," she said. "I'm just very proud of him that he has the opportunity to serve his country and bring a lot of pride and honor to his family."

    The Ashland hadn't been scheduled to deploy until this summer. Leaving six months early is tough on the sailors and their families, said Cmdr. Sam Howard, the ship's commanding officer.
    "I have a seven-month old son and I was expecting to see him walk before I deployed," Howard said. "There's the emotional aspect of it," he said. "But that's also balanced with the emotional aspect of doing something so important."

    The Navy declined to say where the ships were headed. Howard said he was told to reposition the Ashland to support the president's global war on terrorism and to be prepared for future contingencies. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered more than 60,000 U.S. troops to head for the Persian Gulf region, a move that will double the size of the force already in the area. The Pentagon's goal is to have at least 100,000 there by Jan. 31.

    USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), USS Bataan (LHD 5), Norfolk, Va.
    Wasp Class
    Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
    Power Plant: Two boilers, two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 70,000 shaft horsepower
    Length: 844 feet (253.2 meters)
    Beam: 106 feet (31.8 meters)
    Displacement: Approx. 40,500 tons (41,150 metric tons) full load
    Speed: 20+ knots (23.5+ miles per hour)

    Assault: 42 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
    Sea Control: 5 AV-8B Harrier attack planes; Six ASW helicopters

    Ships Company: 104 officers, 1,004 enlisted
    Marine Detachment: 1,894

    Armament: Two RAM launchers; two NATO Sea Sparrow launchers; three 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts (two on LHD 5-7); four .50 cal. machine guns; four 25 mm Mk 38 machine guns (LHD 5-7 have three 25 mm Mk 38 machine guns).

    USS Ashland (LSD 48); Little Creek, Va.
    Whidbey Island Class
    Builders:Arondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La. - LSD 44 - LSD 48
    Power Plant: Four Colt Industries, 16 Cylinder Diesels, two shafts, 33,000 shaft horsepower
    Length: 609 feet (185.6 meters)
    Beam: 84 feet
    Displacement: 15,939 tons (16,194.79 metric tons) full load
    Speed: 20+ knots (23.5+ miles per hour)
    Landing Craft: Four Landing Craft, Air Cushion
    Crew: Ships Company: 22 officers, 391 enlisted; Marine Detachment: 402 plus 102 surge
    Armament: Two 25mm MK 38 Machine Guns; Two 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts and Six .50 cal. machine guns

    USS Portland (LSD 37); Little Creek, Va.
    Anchorage Class
    Builders:General Dynamics, Quincy, Mass. - LSD 37 - LSD 40
    Power Plant: Two 600 psi boilers, two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 24,000 total shaft horsepower
    Length: 553 feet (168.6 meters)
    Beam: 85 feet (25.9 meters)
    Displacement: 14,000 tons (14,224.67 metric tons) full load
    Speed: 22 knots (25.3 miles per hour, 40.5 km, per hour)
    Aircraft: None
    Crew: Ships Company: 18 officers, 340 enlisted; Marine Detachment: 330
    Armament: Four 3-inch/50 cal. twin barrel guns; Two 25mm MK 38 Machine Guns; and two 20mm Phalanx CIWS

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