So I'm down along the river having breakfast, and I notice something different on the Gov. Nicholls St. wharf skyline.
I ride around the other side of the wharf and lookie, lookie!!
So I get all metal-detected (just like at the airport, only here there are four sailors with guns and plate carriers watching me "No pictures of the checkpoint please!") and head aboard.
USS Kidd. It's much bigger. She's 509ft long, 60ft wide, and displaces 9,600 tons. Comes with a crew of 320.
Still has torpedo tubes though.
But the welcome mat was out for guests today.
Port side 25mm gun.
Let's read that up close.
Here's a sailor standing watch with an M-240. And he does have an ammo can at his feet.
Phalanx CIWS (Sea-Whiz) all ready for close-in anti-missile defense.
Comes factory standard with two Vertical Launch Missile Systems (VLMS), one forward here, and one aft. This one holds 32 missiles and the aft launcher holds 64.
Port side torpedo tubes.
Then it was up one deck to see a display of damage-control/firefighting gear.
Sailor on aft port watch with his 240, doing what sailors on watch do.
Other sailors doing what sailors off watch do. They are still young Americans, after all.
Flight deck. This ship deploys with two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. The tracks on the deck allow the helos to be locked down quickly then pulled into the hangars.
Another display for the tourists...now we're talking my language.
Starboard side rigid-hull boats.
This wonderful ship can support infantry ashore with her guns but the main role is tracking enemy submarines in conjunction with Naval Air P-8 aircraft. Her radars are so finely-tuned that they can spot sub periscopes breaking the water surface and this particular ship has played cat-and-mouse with plenty of Chinese subs in the Spratleys. And impressive as she is, the class is aging towards obsolescence already and the newer ships coming out are light years ahead of this one, and are both larger and have much smaller crews due to increased automation.
Too cool indeed, and many thanks to the crew of Lassen for the tour, for their service, and for coming to New Orleans.