Sunday, August 24, 2014

USS Howard DDG-83 at Seafair

 The Admiral took this first set of pics from Big D's  home as they have a 1st class view of  Elliot Bay. Sorry I missed this as all the ships participating in Seafair's Fleetweek sail into the harbor with plenty of Fan fair.

Amphibious Assault Ship USS Essex

Guided Missile Cruiser  USS Chancellorsville CG 62


Guided Missile Destroyer USS Howard DDG 83

USCG Mellon WHEC 717

CH-46 Sea Knights

Canada Geese Join the fun

MV 22 Osprey

Port of Seattle delivering giant Fenders

The Fenders were placed between these ships.

The line Ends here?

Just wondering if this vessel can hold it's course if they fire those weapons?

Navy Jazz Band kept us entertained while waiting in the almost 2 hour line check them out here:

Line starts here.

Lots of Sailors and Marines coming and going, everyone Salutes when arriving or departing.

Ensign Mike Perry was our guide on the USS Henry DDG 83, he explained:
The ship is named in honor of First Sgt. 
Jimmie E. Howard, USMC, (1929–1993), recipient of the Medal of Honor for his leadership of a platoon against repeated attacks by a battalion-sized Viet Cong force. After receiving severe wounds from an enemy grenade, he distributed ammunition to his men and directed air strikes on the enemy. By dawn, his beleaguered platoon still held their position. Howard had also received the Silver Star Medal for his service in the Korean War. Every time USS Howard sets to sea from its homeport of San Diego, it passes within view of Gunnery Sgt. Howard's grave at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and salutes its namesake.

See those two very serious guards with guns on the right? They will be my buds before I leave here. You enter on the Flight deck. Each of those two big doors are for Two  SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters

The Helicopters and crew are in Hawaii on a training mission, but the Copter fits on this sliding truck that allows them to store them inside the huge hangers on the aft deck.

In Case they forget how to fire the 50 caliber.

I wish the pontoons on my RIB was a rugged as this one. 

 Mk 46 triple torpedo tubes. One Starboard and one Port.

Lots of heavy doors to pass through, I'm sure they must all remain closed while underway so moving about the ship is not a simple walk about.

The passage from midships to the foredeck.

5"/62 caliber (127mm/62 caliber)

I had to ask the question " Is there anybody in there when this weapon is fired?" NO, that door is just for maintenance.

Huge foredeck, lots of hatches, no time to find out where they all lead.

1 × 32 cell, 1 × 64 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems, 96 × RIM-66 SM-2BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asroc, missiles. 

 Phalanx CIWS 4,500 rounds per minute

Tons of electronics on that mast with one of the Two  Phalanx CIWS that are computer controlled, you do not want that weapon locked into your position!

These huge octogon shaps are part of some type of defensive radar system

One of these on each side of the ship NOKA Anti Missile Defense launches some type of defensive flares.

80 rounds per minute passes through the magazine, You better be able to run really fast!

25 mm, 4 × 12.7 mm 80 rounds per minute, Range 4 Km.One port and Starboard also computer driven. Those R2D2 looking structures are the radar that locks on and tracks the target till it is destroyed. 

Stuff everywhere on the Bridge, 4 different red phones?

Only the Captain sits in the chair.

Good to have at the Helm

How often do they need the red phones?

The Helm

Hate to need the Emergency tiller on this ride at 30 knots!

Just in case Shore Leave was to much fun.

Lets fire this girl up!

The Helmsman can't even see out, he takes orders from the Officer on Watch.

How nice to be able to fine tune the pitch on the props.

Door to the outside helm station. 
Weapons everywhere on this ship!

Proud Men

The city was full of Seaman and Marines, all on their best behavior. Their CO's must have read them The Riot Act!

My New Buds!

USS Howard DDG-83 at Seafair

I will never forget my International Education graduate class at the University of Texas. I have forgotten the professors name and so what. On one bright, hot, sunny summer day in Austin he explained to our class that the Japanese had a unique name for their master teachers "Sensei" and there were no words in the American English language that equaled the respect that his title commanded. I raised my hand and said, "Yes sir, we do have a word that equals  Sensei, "Coach." The room was silent, At the time Darrell K Royal was head coach of the UT football team, but he was not on my mind at the time I had coached several years of youth soccer of ages 5-12 by then and I knew the respect a "Coach" Commanded on and off the field.  
The Commanding Officer of the USS Howard is CDR John J. Fay. This "Commander" goes way beyond the title of Sensei. My tour of the Howard left me a clear sense of the sailors who serve on this ship and their leaders. Every sailor on this ship was actively engaged and you could just feel the pride these men and women carry with them. The crew were all highly professional and obviously loving their assignment. This only happens with the best leadership. 
In Corpus Christi the retired  USS Carrier Lexington is just a short dingy ride from H dock where Wand'rin Star is moored. We have always wanted to take the tour but just never put it high on the list even after our close dock buddies Jim, and Mark told us they had a great timer on the tour. Since the vessel is always there we know we will do it some time. But Fleetweek at Seafair you have the once in a lifetime opportunity to take a tour on active military vessels. It is not just the ship and incredible weapon systems, it is the men and women who serve is this very demanding environment. When you add to that the superior military atmosphere their Commander has instilled you walk away from the experience having a much deeper appreciation of what it means to be a citizen of the United States.

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