USS Coronado Commissioning

Don’t often get a chance to see a US navy ship commissioned, so had to snap up this invite to attend the commissioning of the USS Coronado.Invite

USS Coronado

The USS Coronado is the fourth littoral combat ship in the US fleet.  It has a unique tri-hull that looks positively ominous when you see it bearing down.  It can proceed at 40 knots when it fires up all four of their diesel and gas turbine engines to power the powerful four water jets.

It is 420 feet long and has a width (beam) of 104 feet.  But astonishingly it only drafts in 14.5 feet, meaning it could enter some pretty shallow coastal areas.  A crew of forty proud men and women run the ship and there are actually two separate crews (a blue and a gold crew) so one is on board and one is off at any one time.

A littoral combat ship is designed to engage enemies along the coast lines.  These new ships, built jointly by General Dynamics, Austral USA and Bath Iron Works, are unique because they are modular in design,  They can easily change up their containers to switch from a submarine fighter to a search and rescue to …?

Coronado

The USS Coronado is actually the third ship named after Coronado, California and will be home ported in this Navy friendly  town.  Coronado is home to North Island Naval Air Station and is home for aircraft carriers, SEALS and various ships.

USS Coronado Crest

Crest for USS Coronado

The ship’s crest has an interesting background.  The ship is on top with the alternating blue and gold rope representing the alternating crews.  The crown represents the city of Coronado’s seal.  The three tines of the trident represent their three missions; Mine Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Surface Warfare

A commissioning only occurs once in a ship’s lifetime and is actually pinpointing the time when it enters the fleet and is available for duty.  The crew assigned at the time of the commissioning are known as Plankkeepers and it is an honor to help a ship to go through the shake down cruises and prepare it to be a vital piece of Naval combat.

On the dock were a rescue helicopter (check out the artwork on the fuselage), a submarine detector and various other armaments.

While a departure from our usual coverage, we thought you’d enjoy this close up look of a fighting ship.  What do you think?

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