Thursday, September 6, 2012

USS Hurricane (PC-3)

Next up was the USS Hurricane which is a Cyclone class patrol craft.  She is the third ship in that class.
 This is a shot of her as I was looking from the stern of the Niagara.  It is really amazing to compare and contrast a ship from the Niagara's era to a relatively modern ship like the Hurricane.  I would imagine the contrast would be even more stark if I get on the De Wert.
 The Cyclone class was developed as a replacement to the PB Mk III Vietnam Era patrol boats that were used to transport seals.  The first of the class was launched in 1993 along with the Hurricane.
 She is 179 feet long and is powered by four diesel engines.  This gives her a speed of 35 knots (although it sounds like she may go faster than that).
 She is currently homeported in Virginia and is used as a training platform for people that will be using the ships out of Bahrain.
 She was originally designed with a lifespan of 15 years, her presence says that she's exceeded that.  Her normal compliment is 4 officers and 24 enlisted men.  She is normally used as either a patrol vessel.   The class was stopped at 14 when it was realized it was too large to be a SEAL insertion vehicle.
 A shot of her bridge.
 Looking up at her mast.  She is also flying the 1812 flag and the "Don't Give Up the Ship" flag of Oliver Hazard Perry.
One of the sailors adjusting his cover.
 One of the sailors keeping a watchful eye over the ship.
 Another of the sailors manning her 7.62 mm guns.
 This was the officer that gave us the tour.  He was very informative and pretty proud of his vessel.
 Just in case you didn't know what ship you were on.
 Looking at the mast and rear 25mm cannon.
 The rigid inflatible boat.  In case they need to visit another vessel or perform a rescue.
 One of the other sailors waiting with the next group.
 A frontal shot of the vessel and her front 25 mm cannon.
 Another angle of the cannon.
 As I was wandering towards the group, I noticed this shot.  I really liked it.
 Looking up at the flag.
 A shot of the boat riding shotgun.
 The 7.62mm guns.
 In the Bridge.  It was a very cramped bridge.
 Looking at the Niagara from the Bridge.
 An attempt to get a shot of the front of the vessel.
A shot of the bridge.

One of the things that struck me during the tour is that is has been 12 years since the US Navy has last visited the Great Lakes.  That is really a shame because I think they used to be fairly regular on the lakes.  I realize that it may be difficult for some of their ships to get through the St. Lawrence Seaway but that should keep them as strangers.  A while ago in the Naval Institute's Proceeedings Magazine, they were stating how it was difficult for the Navy to make a presence in the middle of the country.  The Great Lakes present a perfect opportunity for that and I hope that they don't remain strangers on the Lakes.

At anyrate, I would like to thank the Navy for bringing these ships to the Great Lakes.  I would also like to thank the crew of the Hurricane for being gracious hosts.  It was a very cool tour and I can't wait to see the De Wert.

No comments: