This is Seafarer Week in Seattle, and the U.S. Navy is here to showcase various ships, offer tours, and support the air show of the Blue Angels flight demonstration squad. One of the ships, an Amphibious Transport Dock named the USS Anchorage, was in port near where I take my walk along Myrtle Edwards Park, and I simply went up and joined a tour.
One of the young Naval service members giving the tour described the USS Anchorage as “Uber for the Marines.” That is, and LPD is staffed by the U.S. Navy, and its job is to deliver Marines and their combat gear to and from theaters of battle or special operations missions.
I couldn’t help thinking about the film Dunkirk, and how much having ships like this would have helped get those 360,000 British, French, and Indian soldiers off that beach where they were stranded.
We got to hold weapons, climb in and out of huge trucks and helicopters and Humvees, ask questions about the big guns, see a battlefield hospital that can be set up within an hour and provide complex interventions to treat combat casualties. If they get an injured service member within a hour of the injury, they have a 95% survival rate passing that man or woman to the next level of care. Pretty impressive.
I had a thought in passing about the recent push to close off immigration. A very significant number of the very spit-and-polished, crisp, competent, polite Marines and U.S. Navy personnel who were explaining their equipment and their skilled roles on the ship were Hispanic.
Here’s an overview of the pics I took. The Navy does this, of course, to maintain public support for the mission. Smart on their part, because it works.