Archive for May 27, 2011
On a Boat, In a Boat
U.S. service members returning from medical, dental and engineering civic action projects in Lae, Papa New Guinea prepare to disembark a Landing Craft Utility in the well deck of the USS Cleveland (LPD-7).
It’s all part of Pacific Partnership 2011 is a five-month humanitarian assistance initiative.
The Cleveland (LPD stands for landing platform dock) is an amphibious transport ship that carries smaller amphibious vessels like this landing craft. The LCU can transport equipment, wheeled and tracked vehicles and troops to shore or support civilian humanitarian operations like Pacific Partnership 2011. The well deck is a kind of boat ramp that allows smaller craft to enter from and exit to the sea.
Commissioned in 1967, believe it or not, is said to be the third-oldest ship in the Navy after the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) and the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is slated to be decommissioned.
It began its mission with projects in Tonga and Vanuatu. After completing projects in Papua New Guinea, Pactific Partnership 2011 will continue with missions in Timor Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia.
To see a slide show of Pacific Partnership 2011, click here.
To see a video of the Cleveland departing San Diego for this mission (with a good view of her well deck) click here.
To get an idea of what it’s like exiting and entering a well deck aboard an LCU, click on this 10 minute-YouTube video of a 2007 mission in the Pacific. (Note: some crude language between 6:27 and 7:18 of the video).