Sunday, August 3, 2014

USS Essex

Commander K. aboard the USS Essex
Seattle, WA

This week I had the opportunity to tour the USS Essex while it visited Seattle for the annual Seafair celebration.  The Essex is a USN Amphibious Assault ship (LHD-2) that was first launched in 1989.  the ship can carry 33 aircraft, a crew of 1,200 as well as 1,800 marines.  She is the fifth ship to bear the designation Essex and her nickname is "Iron Gator".  Her motto is "Take notice" and her home base is San Diego.

USS Essex, Iron Gator
Seattle, WA
 The first Essex was a 32-gun frigate that fought in the War of 1812.  The fourth Essex (CV-9), launched in 1942, was an aircraft carrier with a distinguished record of service in World War II.  Below you will see the original ship's bell from the WWII carrier...

Ship's Bell, USS Essex (CV-9)
The current USS Essex has a short flight deck which works for helicopters such as the new MV-22A Osprey and short take off aircraft such as the British-made Harrier jump jets.  Some helicopters perform Search and rescue missions such as the one pictured below...
Search and Rescue Chopper
The Navy and Marine pilots aboard the USS Essex pride themselves on being "straight-shooters"...

USN Pilots are Straight Shooters!
The Marines aboard the ship even allowed the young gentleman pictured below to hold a stinger missile.  President Reagan had these weapons shipped in quantity to the mujahideen during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan where they made a decisive difference in the conflict.  This simple weapon is still in service.

Stinger missile
The USN defends our country and protects the free flow of commerce around the world.  If you drive an imported car, thank the Navy.  If you drink an imported beer, thank the Navy.  If your job depends on exporting US-made products overseas, thank the US Navy.

The USS Essex has also been deployed on numerous humanitarian missions. Thank you for your service to all those who serve aboard the USS Essex!

You can now purchase Commander Kelly's first book, America Invades or on


Anonymous said...

I look forward to these historical installments concerning the military. Thank you, Mr Kelly.

Silver2003Cobra said...

Thanks Commander. The Essex was my first ship, and I served on her from April 13 1993 till I transfered on April 13 1998. Yep, I've helped polish the bell from the USS Essex CV-9 as something to do when I stood Messenger of the Watch more than once.