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Mount Whitney Deploys in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom


From U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) deployed Nov. 12 to the Central Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Mount Whitney, one of the Navyís premier command and control platforms, has served as the flagship of Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, and Commander, NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic since 1981. Despite this, the ship has also served as a flagship for other senior service commanders on occasion.

In 1999, Mount Whitney deployed to the Mediterranean as flagship for Commander, 6th Fleet, relieving the command ship USS La Salle (AGF 3). The ship deployed in 1994 to Haiti with Lt. Gen. Hugh Shelton, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, in command of the Joint Task Force that conducted Operation Uphold Democracy.

This historic deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom will embark elements of the 2nd Marine Division and II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF), based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., under the command of Maj. Gen. John F. Sattler.

Mount Whitney is commanded by Capt. David Prothero and has a complement of approximately 560 officers and enlisted personnel. The most sophisticated command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence (C4I) ship ever commissioned, Mount Whitney incorporates various elements of the most advanced C4I equipment available today to give the embarked commander an enhanced capability to effectively command all units under the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF).

Commander, 2nd Fleet will embark a contingent of 48 staff personnel aboard USS Mount Whitney in support of the CJTF commander.

For more news from Commander, 2nd Fleet/Striking Fleet Atlantic, go to their custom Navy NewsStand Web page at

Official U.S. Navy file photo of an F/A-18E “Super Hornet" aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Navy's newest strike/fighter participated in its first combat action Nov. 5 in response to Iraqi hostile acts against Coalition aircraft monitoring the Southern No-Fly Zone.

First Combat Action for Navy’s Newest Strike Fighter
Story Number: NNS021107-07
Release Date: 11/7/2002 4:10:00 PM

From the Navy News Service

MACDILL AFB, Fla. (NNS) -- The F/A-18E Super Hornet participated in its first-ever combat action Nov. 6 when aircraft from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) fired on Iraqi targets.

In response to hostile acts against coalition aircraft monitoring the southern no-fly zone, Operation Southern Watch aircraft, including the Super Hornets from the Abraham Lincoln, used precision-guided weapons to target two surface-to-air missile systems (SAM), and a command and control communications facility.

The SAM systems were near Al Kut, approximately 100 miles southeast of Baghdad. The command and control facility was near Tallil, about 160 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strikes occurred at about 6:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

Target battle damage assessment is ongoing.

Coalition strikes in the no-fly zones are executed as a self-defense measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against coalition forces and their aircraft. Today’s strike came after Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft artillery at coalition aircraft in the southern no-fly zone and moved the SAM systems into the no-fly zone in violation of U.N. resolutions.

The last coalition strikes in the southern no-fly zone were Oct. 22 against a command and control communications facility near Al Jarrah, and an air defense operations center near Tallil.

Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure, and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.




Official U.S. Navy file photo of USS Bataan (LHD 5).

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Finishes Bataan Early and on Budget
Story Number: NNS021021-04
Release Date: 10/21/2002 3:06:00 PM

By Steve Milner, Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- For the third time in the past six months, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) successfully completed an amphibious "L" ship availability on time and on budget.

This latest success involved a Planned Maintenance Availability (PMA) on USS Bataan (LHD 5), which completed a day early, on Oct. 10, following sea trials off the Virginia and North Carolina coasts.

Earlier this year, NNSY returned USS Saipan (LHA 2), and USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) to the Fleet early, and within cost.

Commenting on his ship's availability at NNSY, Bataan's Commanding Officer, Capt. Martin Allard, said, "We completed a $37 million availability in under four months and accomplished a greater scope of work in less time than normal."

Approximately 300 NNSY employees, assisted by nearly 300 contractors from 23 major companies, worked on this ship daily, according to Bobby Craun, project superintendent. Together, they worked more than 65,000 man-days.

Craun said there were 29 alterations, and alterations equivalent to repairs, including about a dozen major jobs. This included work on the ship's collective protection system, global broadcasting system, boiler modifications, ship's service turbo generator lube oil cooler modifications, firemain regulating system and other tasks.

"Ship's force was very proactive and responsive to the team's needs--they really performed more as part of the team than any I have experienced in past overhauls," Craun said.

"The project really owes Bataan's commanding officer and PMA Coordinator much of the credit for the success of the availability for their understanding of the dynamics of ship repair work in an industrial environment, and for creating the working relationship with ship's force,” said Craun. “These actions enabled them to work through some very complicated and intense integrations.”

The Bataan Project Superintendent said the team, which included NNSY, Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Naval Sea Systems Command, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair Portsmouth, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Engineers, Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity, and contractors, "worked together, and through tough issues during the entire availability."

"The 'Bataan Attack Team' proved what teamwork can do," said NNSY Commander, Capt. Mark Hugel. "Exceptional preparation and cooperation between the shipyard and the ship's crew allowed the availability to complete on budget and a day early. We faced tough challenges with the propulsion plant work package and with late identified improvements to the galley, but teamwork was key to our success."

"The shipyard stuff is not what Sailors like to do," Allard said. "The hours are long, the work is tough, but they hunkered down and got the job done. We planned ahead and prepared for the availability before pulling into NNSY and that made us able to get more done in less time.

"The work is hard, but it's necessary, because this ship will still be in service when the youngest seaman aboard now has retired. We will take care of USS Bataan now, so later USS Bataan will take care of America," Allard added.


Navy Announces New Surface Ship


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