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One of the coolest things I've seen while practicing on the range

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nevets88

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Not sure which aircraft carrier this was, but imagine hitting balls in the wee hours of the morning and then this passes in front of you? Those white spots are seamen standing at attention, all surrounding the ship. Such a big object makes not a peep of sound.

11193038_477602579055413_1143470401_n.jpg

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Not a full blown carrier.

It looks like a Wasp Class LHD to me.  An amphibious assault ship designed to transport and support a Marine Expeditionary Unit.  I spent some time aboard two of the predecessor Tarawa Class LHA's, the Nassau and the Saipan.

The jet aircraft you see towards the stern is an AV-8B vertical takeoff and landing Harrier.  All in all a very capable package.  Generally based out of either San Diego, supporting the Marines in Camp Pendleton, or Norfolk, supporting Camp Lejeune.  Where are you?

Good stuff!  Thanks for sharing! 

:beer:

 

Edited by David in FL

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I think @David in FL nailed it. USS Wasp (LHD-1):

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 2.30.40 PM.png

Looks like they've been deployed in the med in 2016, striking ISIS targets:  http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20170327-Africom1.html

Quote

...

Marine AV-8B Harrier attack jets and AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters, flying initially from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, conducted weeks of precision strikes against ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] forces strongly entrenched in the coastal city to support the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) troops. Supported by armed Air Force MQ-9 unmanned aircraft and other U.S. forces, the strikes killed or dispersed the ISIS fighters.

The presence of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in the Mediterranean was a fortuitous event for AFRICOM, which has no committed forces of its own and usually has to share assets with other commands that may have higher priorities in the global fight against extremists.

“The fact that the MEU-ARG was passing through, we were able to take advantage of the big deck (Wasp)” to conduct the strikes against Sirte. “Sometimes things work out to our advantage,” Waldhauser told the Defense Writers Group.

 

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So a modern US aircraft carrier is 250 feet longer than what I saw. That's big. I'd be afraid of hitting something on the way to docking, but the largest cruise ships are as long as an aircraft carrier and you see those all the time.

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1 hour ago, nevets88 said:

So a modern US aircraft carrier is 250 feet longer than what I saw. That's big. I'd be afraid of hitting something on the way to docking, but the largest cruise ships are as long as an aircraft carrier and you see those all the time.

I fish San Diego bay frequently. All naval ships have a serious exclusion zone now. Naval security vessels escort these in and out of the harbor. No one gets near them. If they do the mounted machine guns will light you up. They won't hit anything. Docking they have tugs that get them safely berthed. Subs are pretty cool when they come in and depart

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1 hour ago, nevets88 said:

So a modern US aircraft carrier is 250 feet longer than what I saw. That's big. I'd be afraid of hitting something on the way to docking, but the largest cruise ships are as long as an aircraft carrier and you see those all the time.

Yep.  Hard as is to believe, a carrier is a LOT bigger than that....

...but they don't have a full expeditionary force of my Marines aboard! ;-) 

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On 3/29/2017 at 8:50 PM, Fsgolfer said:

How much is a bucket of balls there?  Looks like some pricey real estate and netting.

Starts at $30, but about the same as Topgolf. A Topgolf in Manhattan would start at $75/hour I bet.

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