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Team Kearsarge, First was This off,a this particularly was a particularly fun issue fun to issue put together. to put together. The MCs really The MCsspread reallytheir spread wings their on this wingsone, on this and went one,the andextra went mile the extra to bring mileyou to bring something you something informative informative and entertaining, and entertaining, so from so from now on, I now will on, callIthe will content call inthe this content magazine in“infotainment.” this magazine “infotainment.” Or “Entermation.” OrYou “Entermation.” decide. You decide. This issue also includes the first finalists from the PAO/MWRsponsored photo contest. Although, in retrospect, I do all the work and MWR gets to hand out the fun prizes. It will henceforth be called the PAO-labored, MWR-sponsored photo contest. But, the joke’s jokes on on them, them, because because II get get to to see see ALL ALL the photo entries before they hit the interwebs. I’m not sure if you noticed, but today is Cinco de Mayo and this is the 5th issue of Landing. So there you have it, two reasons to celebrate the number five. There is a lot going on aboard Kearsarge, and the MCs can’t be everywhere at once (although, it seems like we are sometimes), so if there’s something about the ship, individual departments, or the mission you have questions about, somebody else probably does, too. We are always on the lookout for the next great story, so please contact me at We can’t get them all, but we’ll make a valiant effort.

MC1(SW/FMF/AW) Chad V. Pritt Editor

Cover by MC2 Corbin J. Shea

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Landing Magazine is published bi-weekly by USS Kearsarge Public Affairs. The Commanding Officer has determined this publication operationally necessary. The use of a name of any specific manufacturer, commercial product, commodity, or service in this publication does not imply endorsement by the Navy. Any opinions herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commanding Officer, the Department of the Navy, or the Department of Defense.

As we all know, deployment can be a challenging and stressful time. Let’s face it, things have to get done—watches have to be manned, cleanings needs to get done, and meals need to be prepared. Due to our new living and working environment, we find that our outlets to release stress change and we are unable to use the same coping skills we are familiar with to deal with stress. I constantly hear service members say that they have a difficult time incorporating healthy lifestyle choices into their busy work schedules. These poor choices ultimately lead to poor resiliency to stress, anger control problems, and mental health issues, such as poor sleep, anxiety and depression. Without some kind of intervention, the situation can quickly get out of hand! Let me encourage you to take care of yourself: eat balanced meals and make healthy food choices, exercise at least four times a week, get adequate sleep, and watch out and take care of each other. There are a variety of health promotion and MWR activities available to help assist you with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The Anger Management class is a new class being offered on a monthly basis (dates will vary). The class will consist of three consecutive sessions, each starting on Tuesday from 1800-1930 in the Medical department lounge. Objectives will include understanding the basics of anger, learning to identify anger triggers, applying anger management techniques and learning lifestyle modifications that can help reduce stress and anger. Additional emphasized topics include improving conflict resolution skills and learning effective communication methods. All are welcome! Sign up by emailing LCDR Raquel Williams at or HN Aysha Barber at Remember, early intervention is the most preventive! Lt. Cmdr. Raquel Williams Psychiatrist

Aviation Heritage Coral Sea: May 7-8, 1942. The world’s first carrier vs. carrier battle. USS Lexington was sunk by Japanese aircraft, and the USS York Town was damaged. Midway: June 3-5, 1942. The turning point of the Pacific war as the United States and Japanese aircraft carriers once again met in battle. This time, the U.S. was victorious, sinking all four Japanese carriers. Birthdate of Naval Aviation: May 8, 1911 First aircraft carrier: USS Langley First jet-powered naval aircraft: FJ-1 Fury First Naval aviator in space: Alan Shepard


Nine KSG Sailors receive NAMs

MC3 Karen Blankenship GULF OF OMAN (April 29, 2013) — Nine Sailors were awarded Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (NAMs) for completing emergent and critical maintenance while underway aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) April 28. The Sailors repaired a rupture in a section of the ship’s chill water system which cools critical areas such as combat systems that are necessary to keep Kearsarge mission ready. “I couldn’t be happier with my crew,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Robert Hale. “My Sailors came together at a time the ship needed us and we got the job done.”

The repair normally takes more than a week when import, but was completed in only 10 hours and, in the end, the Sailors who were part of the repair team were surprised to receive the NAMs. “The job was challenging and the hours were demanding, but the importance of the job motivated us to get it done,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Joshua Blackstone. “In the end it was worth it knowing that we were able to help get vital systems for the ship back online.” The Sailors who received the award were Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Melissa Bennett, Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Michael Bewak, Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Joshua Blackstone, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Robert Hale, Machinist’s Mate

Fireman Natalie Meekma, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Darvin Nelson, Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Brian Orem, Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Codey Porche and Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Norman Stewart. “These Sailors represent the highest caliber of individual sacrifice and commitment to service that America has to offer,” said Kearsarge Commanding Officer, Capt. Rick Nielsen. “Their selflessness kept the ship on mission, and I couldn’t be prouder of what this crew has accomplished.” Kearsarge is the Flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Recruit receives NAM for saving Sailor’s life at RTC Navy News Service GREAT LAKES, Ill. — Capt. John T. Dye, Recruit Training Command commanding officer, presented Seaman Recruit GuislainChristian K. Muvundamina, 24, of Minneapolis, with a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for heroic achievement April 29 aboard the USS Roosevelt recruit barracks at RTC. Muvundamina saved the life of

fellow Sailor Hospitalman (FMF) Nicholas Miner by using the Heimlich maneuver in the galley of the USS Reuben James, another barracks aboard RTC, during lunch on April 23. Miner, who had been eating a salad, describes the moments leading up to his choking as uneventful. “I went over to the chow hall in Ship 2 with a couple of friends for

lunch, just laughing and talking, having a good time, a break from work,” said Miner, following the award ceremony. “All of a sudden, the food I was eating got lodged, and all I could think was, is this really happening right now? I try to eat healthy, and it tries to kill me.” Though Miner was with friends, Muvundamina’s help was still needed. “The female corpsman I was with was small stature,” said Miner. “Myself, I’m a large human being, so for her, she didn’t have the strength necessary to get the food free. So, she called for another corpsman we were with, who was

all the way on the other side of the chow hall.” “At this point I’m standing, I’m gasping for air, trying to get something loose so I could breathe,” said Miner. “It’s starting to get physically dark, and Lord knows what would’ve happened... All of a sudden, a shipmate comes out of nowhere, and next thing I know, I’m being lifted off the ground and someone’s beating on my chest. A few seconds later, I could breathe and started getting my vision back. I was happy to be alive. No doubt in my mind that this shipmate actually saved my life.”

NPC Provides CPO Board Package Confirmation

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Liza Swart

Capt. John Dye, commanding officer of Recruit Training Command, presents Seaman Recruit Guislain-Christian K. Muvundamina with a Navy Achievement Medal aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt at Recruit Training Command while Cmdr. Kertreck Brooks, executive officer, reads the citation. Muvundamina, a former emergency medical technician, was recognized for performing the Heimlech maneuver on Hospitalman Nicholas Miner on April 23, saving Miner’s life.


Navy News Service MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Sailors who submitted a board package to the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Active Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Selection Board can confirm its receipt at Navy Personnel Command (NPC) by clicking on the “Selection Board Status” link on “, officials said April 30. “I encourage all candidates to review their record for completeness,” said Navy Personnel Command (NPC) Force Master Chief (SW/AW/EXW)

Leland E. Moore. “There is no requirement to submit a package unless something is missing from your record that you want the board to consider.” Per NAVADMIN 294/12, the selection board will review the Official Military Personal File (OMPF) of all candidates. If documents are missing from a candidate’s OMPF, they may submit those documents, along with a cover letter to the selection board president, to be reviewed by the board.

Spire Placed on World Trade Center CNN

Photo courtesy of CNN

NEW YORK CITY — Construction workers cheered, the final two pieces of a 408-foot spire were hoisted high above their heads Thursday to the top of One World Trade Center. Draped with the American flag, the silver spire settled on a temporary platform. Final installation of the pieces will happen later. “(It’s a) beacon that’ll be seen for miles around and give a tremendous indication to people around the entire region, and the world, that we’re back and we’re better than ever,” said Steven Plate, director of construction, CNN affiliate WABC reported. Once the building is complete, it will stand at a height of 1,776 feet — an allusion to the year of the birth of the nation. Already the tallest in New York City, One World Trade Center will be the highest building in the Western Hemisphere. Delivery of the final two sections was delayed by wind and rain, said Anthony Hayes, assistant director of media for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The crowning pieces were supposed to be delivered Monday morning. Thursday is the second anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks that toppled the original World Trade Center towers. The spire will contain 18 separate sections of steel and three communication rings. The first — and heaviest — steel section was installed in January, weighing more than 67 tons, according to a statement from the Port Authority. It will serve as an antenna for a television broadcast facility housed in the building. “This is like the icing on the cake for New York,” said construction worker Dennis Muia.

Founding Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dies Los Angeles Times

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Jeff Hanneman, founding guitarist of the thrash metal band Slayer whose furious riffs and chaotic bursts of power chords helped drive a revolution in heavy metal, has died, the band announced, Thursday of liver failure. Hanneman, 49, was born in Long Beach, and had been battling an ailment thought to be caused by a spider bite. The band’s statement on Facebook read: “Slayer is devastated to inform that their band mate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. He was 49. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his

brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.” Slayer formed in Huntington Park in the early ‘80s when Hanneman and fellow guitarist Kerry King joined forces. In 2011 while on tour, Hanneman landed in a hospital emergency room. The band added the following: “As you know, Jeff was bitten by a spider more than a year ago, but what you may not have known was that for a couple of days after he went to the ER, things were touch-and-go. There was talk that he might have to have his arm amputated, and we didn’t know if he was going to pull through at all. He was in a medically-induced coma for a few days and had several operations to remove the dead and dying tissue from his arm.”





The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198).

ravis DiPerna



’ve only been in the Navy since breakfast, and during this deployment I’ve witnessed multiple plenishments-at-sea, better known as a RAS. I wondered how two ships of this magnitude could pull within a few hundred feet of each other while staying steady enough to transfer fuel and supplies. There were so many different events going on throughout the evolution, yet the crew aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge acted as though it were any other day underway. “It’s like driving through a 7-11, except everything’s moving,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stefan Lamberski, former navigator of Kearsarge. That’s beacause the ships are tethered together while going 13 knots, or 15 mph. “If we went any slower it would actually be more dangerous,” said Lt. j.g. Andrew Kamm “At 13 knots, we could break away if something bad were happening, but if there was a casualty at three knots, we wouldn’t be able to break away and we would end up colliding.” The ships sail side-by-side at a distance of about 200 feet. As the ships line up, they create a water vacuum called the Venturi Effect. “The Venturi Effect is when any fluid passes through a restricted space-like piping, or in this case, two ships close together-in order to satisfy the law of continuity the water increases in velocity,” said Kamm. “In order to satisfy the law of conservation of mechanical energy, its pressure decreases. In the simplest terms, the Venturi Effect is the decrease of fluid pressure that happens when it enters a restricted space. It’s kind of like the wing of a plane splitting the air. In order to compensate for that, whoever is at the helm has to adjust because we are basically getting sucked into the other ship. It’s like when you are driving a car in a bad windstorm and you feel the car pulling to a side, only you have to be a little more delicate when steering a ship.” When the ships are close enough, a shot line is fired over to the receiving ship. An ideal distance for the shot line is around 210 feet but with no wind the maximum range is 270 feet. The shot line is used to pull across a messenger line, a phone and distance line and a cargo line. A fuel hose is hoisted across and the probe is secured to a RAS station through which JP-5 fuel and diesel fuel marine, or DFM, are transferred. Kearsarge can take in 3,000 gallons per minute at 100 PSI through each of the two hoses. Two types of tests are performed on the fuel from the oil lab as it is being transferred. A clear and bright test, which is when the machinist’s mates visually inspect the fuel to make sure it’s the proper color and there is no sediment at the bottom. The test is repeated every 15 minutes. Also, there are three flash point tests, one in the beginning, middle and end to ensure the fuel ignites at the proper temperature. During a RAS, vertical replenishments, or VERTREPS, can also take place. VERTREPS are used to transfer supplies, such as mail and cargo, by helicopter between ships. The supply ship’s crew attaches the retropic hanging from the helicopter to the cargo boxes. The helicopter then flies to the receiving ship to drop off the cargo box. Once the cargo is safely placed on the flight deck, Marines from the Combat Cargo Crew use a pallet jack to wheel the cargo inside the ship. It’s then distributed by a working party to its final destination. On average, the two ships are hooked together for about four hours and cover around 52 miles. While underway, Kearsarge performs a RAS about every two weeks. Before the RAS was created, all ships had to dock in order to bring aboard supplies and to refuel. This created a predictability of a ship’s route that could be exploited by an enemy. The U.S. Navy was the first navy to complete a RAS successfully in 1899. The U.S. Navy was also the first to successfully perform a RAS with multiple ships at the same time. Watching a RAS may seem mundane to any salty Sailor, but if one small thing goes wrong it can become a catastrophe. The room for error is none. A slight miscalculation by the Conning Officer can send a 44,000-ton ship crashing into the hull of the supplier, possibly causing multiple personnel casualties and costing the Navy a lot of money. “It’s actually a very dangerous evolution, but we make it look safe,” said Lamberski. “When you start thinking about how large these ships are, and we are only about 200 feet apart, it hits you. Other navies actually stop and tie up next to each other and refuel that way. It has a lot of potential for disaster but as long as we keep following the procedures with repetition it cuts a lot of risk.” During the breakaway, or when the ships are pulling away from each other, it is a U.S. Navy tradition to blare a song over the 1MC, ship’s general announcing system, to pump up the crew after a long, strenuous evolution. “When I hear the breakaway song I feel a huge sense of accomplishment knowing all of our hard work has paid off and the day is over,” said Pfc. Jefre Ramos, a Marine with 6 Combat Cargo. “Then, I wonder why they don’t play a better song.”


VERTICAL REPLENISHMENT A maximium of 8,000 lbs. of cargo can be transported by cargo hook using the MH-60 Knighthawk. (Average load appx. 2,000lbs.)




When the ship turns, the rudder pushes the stern in the opposite direction, causing the ship to change course. If the ships become too close and the conning officer over compensates, he could cause the stern to run into the replenishment ship.





FUEL HOSE Capable of moving 3,000 Gallons per minute at 100psi.




BRIDGE WING Extends from the starboard side of the 05 level giving the Officer of the Deck an overall vantage point to oversee the evolution. PHONE AND DISTANCE LINE Used as a real-time means to measure the distance between the two ships and provides a solid state of communication.

SPAN WIRE Maximium capacity = 10,000 lbs.



hey can carry more than 25 people, fit almost any piece of rolling stock the Marine Corps has, hold up to 380,000 lbs and have 17,000 hp. They cost $32 million, can land on more than 70% of the beaches around the world. They most importantly play a vital role in the mission of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). They are the landing craft air cushions (LCAC), operated by Assault Craft Unit 4 (ACU 4). MCSN Derek Paumen



The Navy first began using LCACs in 1984. Mass production started in 1987 and more than 90 LCACs exist today. They are used to transport equipment, cargo and personnel from Navy ships to shore. Today, ACU 4 has 39 LCACs in operation. Their mission this deployment is exactly what LCACs are designed for: to be sea-toshore connectors, transporting Marines and their equipment. I had no idea what an LCAC was when I first stepped aboard in January. I haven’t been in the Navy very long, so everything has been a first for me. First deployment, first time in a different country, first exposure to LCACs. I was given the fortunate opportunity to take a ride in one recently to get a feel for what it’s really like. LCACs look extremely large from the outside, jammed full of Marine equipment, with huge propellers in the back driving this mighty craft. It was quite the sight to take in. When I got inside, it was much tighter than I expected. There are two levels in the main cabin. The one below is for riders, while right above is the pilothouse where most of the small crew sit and operate from. There are lights and important switches everywhere. It looked similar to an airplane cockpit I’ve seen in movies, with the crew constantly flipping switches or reaching for buttons above their heads. Plastered around the walls, in and outside of this LCAC, LCAC 69, are Star Wars references. Inside on the main door, a “Sons of Anarchy” and Star Wars mash-up is evident

with a metal sign that says “Sons of Anakin.” On the outside, there is a big sign that identifies LCAC 69 as the Aluminum Falcon. “The Star Wars theme was started by crew members that aren’t even here anymore,” said Boatswain’s Mate First Class Timothy McGuire. “It comes from Robot Chicken, that T.V. show. The Aluminum Falcon is in that show. We just continue with it.” There are three LCAC crews aboard Kearsarge, and in fact, each crew has their own theme. “Thirty-four has “Red Dawn”, 36 has the grim reaper and 69 has snowflake,” said Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) James Bartone, engineer of 34, referencing the Star Wars Rebel Alliance logo on the Aluminum Falcon. Each crew consists of only five members and a natural competitiveness exists between all three teams. A little friendly trash talking is fairly common throughout the day. “It’s competitive,” said Quartermaster First Class Eric Davis, navigator of 34. “You always try to out do the other crafts. It’s just a pride thing.” Bartone agrees. “Say they only took three loads today because they broke down and we took five,” he said. “Hey we carried the load today, things like that.” As we started out on my LCAC ride, I held on tight as the LCAC inflated with air. The LCAC actually hovers above the water. It’s really quite amazing considering how much weight an LCAC can carry aboard.

We ended up stopping a few times in the middle of the ride while the crew did maintenance. The first time I was thinking, ‘I sure hope we could float without any air.’ “It sits on 39 water-tight compartments,” said Bartone. “It’s basically one big buoyancy box afloat.” The ride continued on as we made our first stop to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50). We picked up a few riders, and it was off to the shore of Oman. The ride was a bumpy and loud one. The sound would best be compared to the noise and volume inside the pit. You need to lean in and really yell if you want to understand what anyone says. The crew speaks into mics the whole time so they can communicate with one another. If you don’t get seasick normally, the LCAC might change all that. You can ask a crewmember from 69 just how it affected me personally. It was like being in an amusement park ride, bumping around trying to get a hold of your senses. The crew told me we were lucky and had a calm ride. The waves can get so bad people are knocked out of their seats. “It beats you up, literally,” said Bartone. “You’re exhausted at the end of the day.” We made it to the shore of Oman and it was there where I could see why LCACs were so useful and amazing. We rolled right up onto the shore with no trouble at all. LCACs can actually go inland with the right terrain, said Davis. If there’s a shore, the LCAC is there. “The fact that we can operate in more places than conventional landing crafts can, that’s Sailors and Marines stand aboard an LCAC on the shore of Oman.


Members from ACU 4 aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

really the biggest thing,” said Senior Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician Stephen Lowe, who has more than 12 years of experience working with LCACs. “Unlike conventional landing crafts, we are not constrained by our draft. We can operate in 70 to 80 percent of the world’s beaches. Conventional craft can maybe operate in 10 to 15 percent of the world’s beaches. We don’t pull any draft in the water. If it’s a shallow beach, or in cases like this part of the world where the tide goes out eight to ten feet in some places and you have 100 yards of mud flats before you get to the actual beach, we could go right across the top ofA theLCAC mud flats and land on dry sand.” prepares to Lowe dock isinside the the LCPO of the detachment amphibious assault deployed onboard Kearsarge. He is also a craft ship USS Kearsarge master, (LHD 3).which is best compared to a pilot. “I’ve always told people it’s the closest thing

you can come to flying something without a college degree,” said Lowe. The crew does wear flight suits when they go out and they are technically in flight status. They have to go through all the flight physicals and extra things anyone in that status has to go through. “We are on a cushion of air basically,” said Bartone. “We are not displacing any water, so we are on top of the water, on top of the land. So technically we are six to eight feet off the ground.” We were definitely flying over the water during my ride. On the way back to Kearsarge from the shore, we needed to catch up as Kearsarge went on without us. Had we been in any other similar craft, it could have taken hours to get back. Their ability to move huge amounts of payloads with a relatively fast

pace is another feature of the LCAC and a big advantage over the landing craft utility (LCU), which is a bigger landing craft when compared to the LCAC. Bartone described the LCU as old technology though, while the LCAC is new technology. “The LCU max speed is about 12 knots,” said Lowe. “Fifty knots is our max speed across water. Twenty-five knots is the max speed across land. Granted they have a little bit more deck space then we do, but we can move the equipment a lot quicker than they can.” As advanced as LCACs are, for all their power and features, they wouldn’t go very far without a good crew that uses teamwork to get the job done. “It is a five-man crew,” said Lowe. “Craft master, engineer, navigator, deck engineer and a load master. Teamwork is vital. It’s vital to mission success.” With such a small crew, Lowe said each ACU 4 crewmember is vital to the mission. “The craft master is overall in charge of the craft, but when you are moving across the water at 35 knots at night-time, and you can’t see, you aren’t just relying on a radar picture, you are relying on your navigator to tell you where the contacts are and the force and speed of the contacts,” said Lowe. “The engineer obviously is monitoring the equipment and engineering plan on the craft. Your loadmaster serves as your lookout while you are in the water, too. If you didn’t have teamwork, you wouldn’t have mission success.” “The camaraderie is awesome,” said Bartone. “We are really close. You’ve got to be when it’s only five of you operating the craft.” Each of the three crews is like their own family, looking out for one another and making sure they all return home safe. “One mistake can cost someone’s life,” said Davis.

Marines direct the landing of an LCAC onto shore during the amphibious assault of Bold Alligator 2012.


#8 #9

MC2 corbin j. shea


There’s no question what the escape trunk is for or why it’s there. I just thought it was cool so I’m throwing it in here. There aren’t too many places where you can see the bottom of the ship from the main deck.


Just a minor annoyance but why do a few ladder wells have cables instead of railings? The only reason I notice this is because anybody who’s tried to go down these in a hurry has more than likely recieved burns from its rubber coating.

Sometimes, while walking through the P-ways aboard Kearsarge I notice some things about her that just do not make sense. I constantly find myself asking... “What were they thinking?” So this is my small collection of quirks I’ve noticed around the ship. Some of these probably have sensible answers. Meanwhile, others I’m sure do not. I lose sleep over it.



Why are the first few frames of the ship letters instead of numbers? My guess is that frame one is the first frame that goes down all the way to the keel but I don’t know.


#7 shall not password

Who has ever changed their password early? Nobody. So why does it ask if you want to change it 15 days before it expires? I worked really hard coming up with my ridiculous password. I’m going to get every day out of it that I can.





Why is there a ladder next to the Captain’s chair on vultures row that goes up to the signal bridge when a few feet away there is a fully functional ladder. It’s good to know it’s there in case the stairs ever break down. Maybe it’s there so SECO can ambush the SNOOPIE team.




I’ve asked a few times why this knee knocker appropriately known as “The Knee High Knocker,” is just that. Mostly nobody has an anwser but a few times I’ve heard that it has something to due with interference with Radio, which is located a few feet away. I’m no radiologist or whatever, but when they were building this ship I highly doubt that the radio gizmo-installer told the doorway builder. “Hey, can you make that door a little smaller? That should clear up this poor signal.” “Sure thing, I’m sure nobody will mind,” said the door-maker guy.

It seems like there was no thought behind where our ATMs are placed. There isn’t one by disbursing or mess deck vending, but you can find one oddly placed in the double wide P-way and another randomly placed three ladders above the ship’s store in the gym. At least they had the forethought to put one in front of both the ship’s store and aft vending.


SORRY WE ARE OUT OF TOILET PAPER, BUT WE HAVE NON-SKID. Oh, this one’s good. So anyone who has been by the supply office has probably tripped on this step. I remember when I first checked on board, trying to fill out that dreadful check in sheet. Not sure I ever did finish that thing... Anyways, my sponsor was showing me around and sure enough tripped on it, but managed to catch herself mere inches before re-arranging her face on that ever-so-welcoming edge on the half moon. Considering the hangar bay is directly below this step, I’m not quite sure why the yard workers needed this extra few inches.




When I was a kid, the Chuck E. Cheese’s in my neighborhood had a child-sized mouse hole door next to the normal-sized doors. Woodson Door –where a kid can be a kid.

Anybody who has tried to obtain non-skid knows this is not such an easy item to get aboard the ship. So, where did it all go? “Hey Seaman, can you put a piece of non-skid by this hatch to the weather deck so our fellow Marines and Sailors don’t slip, fall and break their necks?” “I would, Petty Officer however, I used the last of the non-skid on the door to the head.”



Following a packed itinerary, Rear Adm. William Lescher, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE took a few minutes to talk to me before leaving the ship. During the interview, we discussed the importance of amphibious warfare, my lack of interview preparation and time travel. CP: First off, you’ve been aboard Kearsarge for three days and visited the Carter Hall. Do you have a favorite ship in the ARG? WL: A favorite ship in the ARG? I must say I do not. Just like children, of course, I exercise discretion. Whatever ship I’m on, I enjoy interacting with that crew and that ship, and seeing what I can do to help them to do better. CP: When there’s a crisis in the world, it’s been said that the President’s first question is, “where’s the nearest carrier?” What would it take for that question to be, “where’s the nearest amphib?” WL: Actually, I think the type of crisis we might see in this AOR, might lead him to say, “where’s the nearest amphib?” And by that, specifically, I mean humanitarian assistance. So if there’s a Pakistani earthquake, for example, a carrier really can’t help there. Whereas, we have phenomenal capability to come ashore there. The refugee situation in Jordan, a carrier really can’t help there. Again, an amphib flowing up there, using the capability of the [M]V-22, using the capability of the CH-53s, using the skillsets we have embedded in the Navy and Marine Corps team here, absolutely that would be the question he asks. And even in what some might consider the more traditional carrier-type missions, such as major combat operations, the ARG and the MEU in this particular AOR have phenomenal roles to play. To get back to my original point, in this AOR at this particular time, this is a great force to be on.

people say. In my bio, it’s actually in the last paragraph. CP: I did say I was lazy. I did read most of it, but when I got to the end – WL: You faded at the end. CP: That’s usually where they put all the awards. WL: But I grew up in Chicago, which is a great city and a great sports town. CP: Where would you like to see our amphibious capabilities go in the future? What sort of direction do we need to take, or are we on the right path? WL: I think we are on the right path and it’s more than just the Navy. Both the CNO and Commandant of the Marine Corps have both said they want to go back to this core amphibibious capability; this forcible entry from the sea capability. So the Marine Corps, which had, you know, gone into this more land-focused set of operations in Afghanistan… particularly as that demand is coming down, the Commandant has said, ‘I really want to get back to the middle-weight force, operating from the sea,’ and we see that as well. Similarly, the CNO understands that the flexibility of the ARG and MEU to operate on the sea unencumbered by access limitations that we see in many places… it puts a real premium there. So going forward, our leadership gets it, and they talk regularly about the importance amphibiousity and the amphibious capability. In terms of more programmatic things where we need to go, I think our leadership has put their money where their mouth is. You look at what we’re

spending to invest in terms of Joint Strike Fighter, the America-class amphibious ships – which the next two we’re building – with what the Marine Corps is looking to invest in the follow-on of the amphibious assault vehicle… There are some hard choices to be made in this fiscal contest, but the core needs float to the top when you need to prioritize limited resources, and amphibious elements are flowing to the top. CP: I like to ask this next question of all leadership when I get the chance. What makes a successful deployment at the individual level? WL: At the individual level, when I think about a deployment and how consuming it can be time-wise, and how demanding in can be, I always think of having a balance of outcomes there. While I don’t think any one individual can be overly focused on just what we’re doing in the workcenter day-today and can’t be underly-focused or they will not be successful. So when I look at it, it’s a balance – trying to keep balance with relationships with your family, interacting with your family. Personal health, set physical goals; set professional development goals. Whether that be taking a course, reading a book or those sorts of things. So there’s a family element, a health element and there’s a service element. That service element, of course, is what we do operationally. And I think there’s a faith element in terms, for many people, to continue to develop that as well. So a successful deployment means you come back and you haven’t lost focus across CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

CP: Sophie’s choice: flight deck or well deck? If you could only have one…? WL: Well, I appear to be wearing a flight suit, so as much as I enjoy watching the LCAC ops and LCU ops, and the work that they do, I would have to go with the flight deck so I can continue to earn my flying status. CP: When I do an interview, I like to do a little background research – not a lot, because I’m kinda lazy – and I read your bio. It makes no mention of a hometown or college. What are you hiding? WL: So, I find it noteworthy that you did not read the bio closely, because it does talk about a college. It’s in, perhaps, a non-traditional place. In a lot of those bios, it’s the first thing


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 all four of those things, that there’s been a balance of growth in each of those areas. CP: Now, you’re a helicopter pilot – WL: An incredibly good helicopter pilot. CP: Captain Nielsen is a P-3 NFO… is that going to affect his FITREP? WL: I would prefer to leave that unstated at this particular point. CP: Have you ever seen the movie, The Final

Countdown? WL: Recap that briefly for me. CP: It’s where the USS Nimitz goes back in time to Dec. 6, 1941 and has a chance to change history at Pearl Harbor. WL: I have seen that, yes. CP: What point of history would benefit from an LHD going back in time. WL: Today’s LHD? CP: Today’s LHD.








(Top right) 217 pts.

(Bottom left) 166 pts. (Bottom right) 144 pts.


Kayla Mullens Carl Burgan Adam Pollnow

WL: Immediately, I would think of the major amphibious events that we’ve done in the past. A couple that stand out are the Inchon landing in Korea, although that went pretty dang well. So the additional capability we could provide wouldn’t have been as important. Then I would go back to many of the World War II foundational amphibious events. Iwo Jima comes to mind, Tarawa, Peleliu, many of which we have ships named for. Those would make a great plot to have JSFs, our ability to project power ashore, to do vertical envelopment… All those things would be very event-changing.

Pacers finish off the Hawks, move on to face Knicks Fox Sports ATLANTA – The Indiana Pacers finally showed they could win in Atlanta. Nice timing. The Pacers held the Hawks to just nine points in the second quarter, beat up Atlanta on the boards for the second game in a row and wrapped up their opening-round series with an 81-73 victory Friday night. Indiana, which withstood a furious Hawks comeback in the closing minutes, won the series 4-2 and advanced to face the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals. Game 1 is Sunday at Madison Square Garden. It was the Pacers’ first victory in Atlanta since 2006, snapping a streak of 13 straight losses that included Games 3 and 4 in this series. “I’m very proud of our guys to come in here, a tough place to win,” coach Frank Vogel said. “A particularly tough place for us to win. It’s good to end that streak. But more importantly, it’s good to advance and show the type of toughness you need to make a deep playoff run. To win with defense and rebounding, that’s been our identity all year, and that was the key to the last two victories.” The Hawks went through an absolutely brutal stretch from early in the second quarter to nearly midway through the third, in which they did not actually put the ball in the hoop. In the equivalent of more than a quarter — 15:43 to be exact — Atlanta went 1 of 21

Photo courtesy of Fox Sports

Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) loses the ball as Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill (3) and Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) defend in the first half of an NBA first-round playoff basketball game in Atlanta, Friday, May 3, 2013.

from the field, the only basket awarded to Devin Harris on a goaltending call against Roy Hibbert. At a time when the Hawks needed one of their best performances of the season, they produced one of their worst. They were 1 for 15 shooting in the second — 6.7 percent — and the nine points set a franchise playoff low for that quarter. “I wouldn’t have believed it,” said Josh Smith, who, like many of his teammates, might’ve played his last game in a Hawks uniform. “We just couldn’t get it going offensively.” George Hill and David West each scored

SEC unveils deal with ESPN for network to launch in 2014 Fox Sports ATLANTA – The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have announced a 20-year agreement to operate a SEC network that is scheduled to debut in August, 2014. SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said Thursday the SEC network will produce 1,000 live events each year, including 450 televised on the network and 550 distributed digitally. Slive says the network will carry approximately 45 SEC football games “and a depth of content across all sports” each year. No financial terms were released for the deal, which continues through 2034. The announcement came at a news conference attended by Slive, ESPN President John Skipper, 32 SEC coaches and each of the league’s 14 athletic directors. ESPN senior vice president Justin Connolly says AT&T U-Verse has signed on as the network’s first distributor.

21 points to lead the Pacers, while Hibbert chipped in with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Lance Stephenson also had 11 rebounds. Indiana dominated the boards, 5335, which helped overcome its own poor shooting (32 of 76, 42 percent). In the final two games of the series, the Pacers absolutely manhandled the Hawks on the glass, piling up a 104-63 rebounding edge. To their credit, the Hawks showed plenty of heart, slicing Indiana’s lead to 76-73 on Al Horford’s dunk with 2:13 remaining. But the comeback fizzled. Horford’s slam, it turned out, was the final basket of the season.

Penguins tripped up as New York evens series with 4-3 win Fox Sports PITTSBURGH – Sidney Crosby’s return was supposed to provide the knockout punch that would make the New York Islanders’ return to the playoffs a brief cameo. Instead, the Islanders welcomed the return of the NHL’s best player by issuing a reminder to Crosby and the rest of Pittsburgh’s star-studded roster: it takes more than boldfaced names to survive at this time of year. Sometimes, you’ve got to rely on the grinders too.

Kyle Okposo followed his first career playoff fight with his first career playoff goal, a bounding puck that somehow found its way into the net with 7:37 remaining to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead and tie the playoff series at one game each. Game 3 is Sunday in New York. Okposo’s shot actually sailed wide of Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury but caromed off the end boards then back to the crease, where it rolled off Fleury’s pads and across the goal line.


Landing Vol 1 Issue 5  
Landing Vol 1 Issue 5