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June 08, 2008

Portland Rose Festival Fleet 2008

-Patrick S Lasswell

Lake Champlain and Kidd straight.jpg
We do not get to see and celebrate our military very often, but once a year, Portland opens its heart and welcomes the Navy. A lot of decent people come to enjoy sights like the USS Kidd and USS Lake Champlain docked downtown. Sailors walk around in uniform, safely during the middle of the War On Terror. [Click on picture for full size]
Also present were the USS Gary FFG-51 and the USS Preble DDG-88. Although the missile launchers have been deactivated on the FFGs, the need for hulls in the water is so great that the class is continued even after the primary armament has been pulled. FFGs are inexpensive craft compared to the AEGIS ships.
The Royal Canadian Navy were gracious enough to share the HMCS Whitehorse MM-705 and HMCS Edmonton MM-703 with us. Though small, these Coastal Defence Vesseks have tremendous sea state endurance, as a Canadian ship properly should.
USS Kidd DDG-100 Bow on
USS Lake Champlain CG-57 bow on. I owe them some beers for helping me out three years ago on an NCW project, instead I published their picture. They had my number, but do they call?
There were a lot of new folks for the Risk Dog to sniff and become acquainted with. SH-60 in the background.
The line for tours of the ships was blocks long. A lot more people visited Navy ships this weekend than marched last month for May Day. We love the Navy in Portland.
Boats lined up to be escorted past the Rose Festival Fleet by the Coast Guard Auxiliary
The regular Coast Guard kept an active watch on the fleet.
Ashore, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Security Detachment sailors kept a vigilant watch, recording the few incidents that occurred.
Another alert NECC sailor protecting the Rose Festival Fleet from the shore.
Out for a walk on the Esplanade.jpg
Altogether a lovely day for a walk to see the ships in Portland.

Thanks to LGF for the link



USS Preble DDG-88 departing Portland. There were a lot of cars parked in a vacant lot near the waterfront to watch the fleet leave. I didn't take a picture because all of them were playing hooky from work.

USS Lake Champlain CG-57 heading downriver.
HMCS Whitehorse MM-705 leaving Portland with an irritated crew. It was blowing a squall and the skipper had the crew manning the rails well after she left downtown. Normally small ship captains are solicitous of their crew, but they do things different in Canada.
HMCS Edmonton MM-703 heading down the Willamette with a moderately less irritated crew. A different set of mission modules provides a better wind breaks for the Eddies. I was so tempted to shout from shore, "Secure from manning the rails, ."

More available on request...

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