Friday, April 6, 2018

Little Rock away

Whether it was the thrumming of diesel engines, the whine of a gas turbines or the sighs of the crew, there was a dull rumble as USS Little Rock finally got underway this morning for its new home of Mayport FL. As per the previous post, it has been a long time since the ship sailed from commissioning in Buffalo, NY, to finally be able to give Mayport as its next port of call.

Decks lined with "popsicle" suited matelots, the ship clears the piers of HMC Dockyard. 
(The winter suits will go into the souvenir lockers when the ship sails into warmer weather.)

The ship is just one of a series of Littoral Combat vessels under construction for the USN at Marinette Marine in Wisconsin. The next ship in the series, Sioux City, may be ready to sail this year, but my bet is that they will wait for next spring to get out of the Great Lakes. I am sure they will not try for a December sailing again any time soon.

Tug Atlantic Willow begins to swing the ship's bow seaward, as Atlantic Oak hauls the stern around.

First order of business on arrival in Florida may be a general cleanup, including some paint. The staining from the gas turbine side port exhausts is a fact of life for ships of this class, but the general state of the paint is certainly under par for the normally "pusser" USN.

Tugs clear, the ship sets out for sea.

As a guest ship at HMC Dockyard, the ship used civilian tugs and pilots for its arrival on April 3 and its departure today.

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