Archive of Aug 2008

14.08.08
Gunnery Practice aboard USS Kearsarge

How does an amphibious assault ship defend herself from attackers in small boats? Here’s how. Warning: adult language! [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/fjTFdHWPoS8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

1 Comment

14.08.08
World Politics Review: Navy Ship Encounters Obstacles on South American “Soft Power” Mission

For decades, the U.S. Navy’s roughly three-dozen amphibious ships have carried U.S. Marines across the world’s oceans in response to crises. Today the Marines are embroiled in long land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So the empty amphibious ships have assumed a new role: hauling military and civilian humanitarians to developing countries as part of [...]

Leave a comment

13.08.08
Kearsarge‘s Medical Mission = War by Radically Different Means?

The USS Kearsarge assault ship (pictured right) is just two days from the first stop on its four-month tour of South America doling out free medical care. It’s all part of the Pentagon’s new strategy for effecting “generational change” in the world’s neglected, unstable coastal zones. But for the hundreds of military doctors, dentists and [...]

2 Comments

12.08.08
Kearsarge‘s Logistics Dance

“218” “206” “181” The huge red digital readout atop the USNS Laramie, a civilian-crewed supply and tanker ship (pictured), read out the distance, in feet, between the massive ship and the USS Kearsarge assault ship as the two vessels nervously edged together on the rolling Atlantic on Wednesday afternoon. It was an “underway replenishment,” or [...]

3 Comments

11.08.08
Alone at Sea aboard Kearsarge

It’s unusual for one of the Navy’s capital ships to go it alone. Aircraft carriers and amphibious ships usually sail in the company of at least a destroyer –- and often with multiple destroyers, cruisers and frigates that screen them from potential attackers. But on her four-month mission to South America, USS Kearsarge is sailing [...]

1 Comment

11.08.08
Assault Ship to World: Let’s Talk

In four months handing out free medical care to six South American countries, the USS Kearsarge assault ship and its crew of sailors, doctors and engineers will see just a few tens of thousands of patients, including at most a couple hundred surgical patients. Considering the millions of people the ship will never see, how [...]

4 Comments

09.08.08
Russia’s Air Blitz over Georgia

Russian warplanes and armed helicopters have played a major role in the ongoing fighting between Russia and Georgia. On Friday Georgian troops entered the pro-Russian province of South Ossetia in a bid to put down a simmering rebellion; Russian “peacekeepers” in the province fought back, and reinforcements from Russia, including tanks, soon joined them. As [...]

2 Comments

08.08.08
Old Choppers = “Vintage Sports Cars”

Six CH-53E helicopters represent the real muscle behind USS Kearsarge‘s four-month medical mission to South America. The three-engine, 25-ton birds can carry tons of supplies and dozens of people hundreds of miles through weather that would ground most types of choppers. Once Kearsarge makes landfall in Nicaragua in a few days, the CH-53E crews will [...]

3 Comments

07.08.08
USS Kearsarge’s Doctor Brigade

There are more doctors aboard this ship than you can shake a tongue depressor at. Huddled in USS Kearsarge’s wardroom together, the dozens of physicians from the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, the Canadian army, the Dutch navy and even the Brazilian military look like a bag of M&Ms that someone picked all the [...]

1 Comment

06.08.08
Meet Kearsarge

She’s 41,000 tons of fun. 844 feet long and 106 feet wide, USS Kearsarge, the third Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, joined the fleet in 1993. Within two years she was already world famous, as the ship that launched the Marine mission that rescued downed Air Force pilot Scott O’Grady in Bosnia. Over the years Kearsarge [...]

7 Comments

06.08.08
Bin Laden’s Driver

Matt Bors, my artist on the temporarily-suspended “War Is Boring” comic strip, has drawn his funniest comic yet:

2 Comments

04.08.08
Whither Chad

For a journalist, the upside of being shot at is that you know you’re onto a worthwhile story. Of course, that was small comfort back in June as I fled gunfire in the town of Abeche in desolate eastern Chad. Elements of the Chadian army had mistaken each other – and me – for rebels [...]

3 Comments