Friday (5-6-16) Mike and Amy joined me and Karen for a tour of the Amphibious Assault Ship USS Baatan (LHD 5) in Port Everglades. The Navy’s Fleet Week hit town along with the Air Show. It was a fun-filled weekend.
The Bataan looks like a small aircraft carrier. It takes 1,070 men to run the boat and can bring 1,700 marines along to storm a beach.
The flight deck is smallish and requires birds that can take off and land vertically like the Harrier jet or a couple of these Sikorsky monster choppers.
The Marines bring along plenty of firepower and the Bataan has lots of room inside for vehicles and equipment.
I usually listen to my wife, but she had my utmost attention while packing this .50-caliber gun capable of piercing armor.
These heavy duty troop and equipment haulers can bring the mean in bulk.
So how do you get all the heavy machinery and men on shore? A couple of these Landing Craft Air Cushioned boats glide right across the water and onto the beach with 72-tons of cargo.
So when the Bataan pulls up to the beach, poops a couple of LCACs out the stern and they head in full of tanks and jarheads, you better hope it’s not you they are coming for.
Karen and I left Port Everglades after our morning tour and headed to the beach to catch the planes practicing for their weekend show.
The beach is much less crowded and the pilots get lots more time during their practice days. Parking is cake and the show is still amazing.
The Thunderbirds got new F-35s this year. Here’s a quote from their commander, “Our birds have the loudest afterburners on the planet!” He was right. They rattled your insides flying over.
Ft. Lauderdale’s birds flew by without a sound. Brown Pelicans are no F-35 jet, but they added a poignant touch to a great spectacle.