Tuesday, January 19, 2010

USS Independence Commissioning

Here is some Navy News, long time for these spaces:

"Independence is a 419-foot aluminum trimaran, the first of its design in the surface fleet. It has a displacement of 2,800 metric tons, is capable of speeds in excess of 45 knots, and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Propelled by four water jets in addition to two diesel and two gas turbine engines, the ship boasts a range of over 3,500 nautical miles."

Her mission will be the Littoral battle space, or the near shore what is called the "Brown" water. She is unique in other ways besides her hull design:

"Independence is manned by two rotational crews, "blue" and "gold," of 40 Sailors each. These crews are further augmented by detachment specialists for each of the mission modules."

The concept of operations is more akin to an aircraft than a ship in that "modules" of electronic sensors and operations consoles can be loaded onto the "Indy" specific to a mission be it ASW, ASUW or some other of the many missions envisioned for the LCS class ships.

Now, while I was stationed with VS-31 we were assigned along with Carrier Air Wing 7 to the "Indy" the CV-62 version, and I made workups and deployments aboard her over two years (we were moved to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 when she was ready for aircraft). She was a good ship. As a full blooded Aircraft Carrier the CV-62 Independence was substantially different in every way, size, armament, power projection and in crew manning (about 5000 men with Air Wing attached).

I don't know why the Navy has gotten away from naming our capital war ships for the more traditional Navy names (along with Independence, Saratoga, Ranger, etc.) and to the names of dead and living Presidents but they should go back to that. Those of us who man such vessels fight for an idea and ideal if you will, not a man living or dead.

Can any good come from naming an Aircraft Carrier the Bill Clinton? Yeah, it does not quite roll off the tongue nor I think will it ever induce fear in a potential enemy. Well maybe it will scare the men into thinking their women folk were at risk cause you know, once you go Bill you don't go back.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

The new Independence is one cool-looking ship. Srsly.

JimmyT said...

Buck, yep she is, fast too, way faster than the ole Girl I served on, by twice!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

virgil xenophon said...

I hate that naming trend too, Jimmy--with a passion. As bad as it is with carriers, since we no longer have heavy cruisers in the fleet, they've taken to naming subs after cities instead, whereas in WWII they were all named after fish which made perfect sense and was poetically exotic as well. Of course the reason they do it the way they do now is to curry favor for support in budgeting for the service which does have a certain logic to it, but is highly distasteful to me nonetheless. Yuck!! There is no music in it--they've lost the tune and the beat--not to mention the history. Only thing of the old system left held-over from WWII days is the naming of DDs and slew of minor ships like minesweeper/minelayers, sub tenders, ammo ships etc., and other aux. & support ships.