Archive for February 14, 2020

FRIDAY FOTO (February 14, 2020)

Iron Fist Irony.

CRRC Operations Aboard USS Pearl Harbor

(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Natalie Byers)

U.S. sailors pull a combat rubber raiding craft carrying Japanese soldiers aboard the amphibious dock landing ship, USS Pearl Harbor, in the Pacific Ocean on February 6, 2020.

The photo was taken during Iron Fist, an exercise designed to enhance the ability of U.S. and Japanese forces to plan and conduct combined amphibious operations.

Several U.S. Navy amphibious ships, like the Pearl Harbor, are named for a famous Navy and Marine Corps battles — like  Tripoli or Fort McHenry — but there are others named for World War II engagements in the Pacific: Bataan, Iwo Jima and Bougainville. Your 4GWAR editor has often wondered if these reminders of bitter defeats and costly victories more than 70 years ago cause any uncomfortable moments of reflection when the forces of the United States and Japan — now close allies — engage in joint exercises and operations.

Do the soldiers and sailors in the photo above feel any sense of irony that they are all on board a ship, the Pearl Harbor, named for the 1941 Japanese air attack on the eponymous naval base that shattered the U.S. Pacific Fleet and eventually led to the destruction of the Imperial Japanese Navy?

Probably not. And maybe that’s a good thing.

February 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment


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