Saturday, July 26, 2008

Navy-San Diego

In April, the NAVY invited me, as my school's military liason, to San Diego to tour their facilities.

I have never been interested in visiting California, much less southern California, but after exactly 36 hours, I called Dave to tell him we had a new retirement destination!! I loved it there!!! They had a "Heat Wave" while we were there. Eighty nine with 0% humidity. I'll take their heat waves over ours ANY day!!!

As we were having pizza the first night, we noticed a boat out in the bay. It was the SEAL recruits. Notice they are in the water. The boat stayed long enough to drop them off, then came back to land. The recruits had to swim in full gear back to shore. The CMC that was with us said it was probably their 2nd or 3rd swim of the day.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a gun person. However, if I needed to be a gun person, the gentleman on the left is who I would like to learn from. He knew EVERYTHING there was to know about every gun a SEAL could need. The other guy was trying really hard to look cool.
We extensively toured the SEAL training areas. This is their obstacle course on BUDs(Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training) beach. They offered to let us have a go, we all declined....
Part of the SEALS is the Swift Boats and their drivers. Trust me, these are not guys you would want to meet in a dark alley or crawling out of the ocean. We weren't allowed to take any pictures of the instructors as they are all expected to go back into combat situations.

The Navy uses dolphins for a variety of underwater tasks, they didn't say it but we read "Bomb Sniffing" between the lines. Wonder if these guys knew when they joined they get this kind of job.
We toured all of the weapons training facilities. Picture taking was limited....this was the gun one of our liasons was in charge of when he was out to sea. These are massive pieces of machinery and they say the noise they make is deafening.

Dry Whitney BEFORE our harbor cruise on Assault Craft Number ONE
Wet Whitney after our soaking
Some of the vessels they had in harbor during our "cruise." Notice the floating barrier that prevents vessels from pulling up aside the ship. This barrier only came to be AFTER 9/11.
The naval hospital ship, Mercy. Less than a week after I returned to KC, Mercy left for Myanmar to help with the typhoon relief.
The San Diego skyline from our harbor cruise.

Junior, from my district, and I on the USS Kidd.

Shots of the Hotel Del Coronado

One of our liasons knew some people aboard the USS Ronald Regan that came into port while we were there. We got a personal tour!!! It is an impressive aircraft carrier.
I think my sweet boys, especially their daddy :), were happy to see me home after being gone for 6 days!!!! Professionally though, I'm excited to be able to share all that I learned with students who are interested in joining the NAVY. As an ARMY brat, it's hard to think of a different way of life. I'm not sure I could handle the 6 month+ separations from my family. We saw many other aspects of Naval life while we were there including the nuclear submarine program.

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