Wed, January 19, 2011 10:56:39 AM
Its been a long time coming, but at long last Arctic is headed across the Atlantic on yet another naval adventure! We started this deployment on 12 January with the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise and her escorts, as the principle supply ship of the Carrier Strike Group. So far the weather has been pretty moderate and things are going well as we pass near the Azores; we expect next week to make our first port visit in Europe (can't say WHERE it will be for security reasons; you'll have to wait for my next missive!).
As Carrier Strike Groups go, this one seems quite small to me. I've deployed eight times before; the first 'way back in 1981 (yes, I know; rocks don't live that long!) and back then a Carrier Battle Group might have 20 or more warships, supported by a half-dozen supply units. Times, however, have changed; the 'Big E's destroyer and cruiser escort are almost incredibly more powerful than the ships I sailed with in the 1980s, with vastly improved radars, sonars, guns and missiles. It's a new Navy indeed, when an aircraft carrier sails not with 15 escorts but only 4! That's right; one cruiser and three destroyers. And a submarine's somewhere around here as well. It certainly makes it easier to count them off as I scan the horizon thru my binoculars!
I plan to send out a weekly email 'non-blog' as our voyage continues, and I hope you will enjoy both my account of our travels and the photos I plan to append. Most of the pics will be mine, though if someone else captures an event that I have missed I'll be sure to give proper attribution. If you have any questions I stand ready to answer, and If you do not wish to tag along vicariously on Arctic's travels, please let me know and I will drop you from my mailing list.
Take care, keep in touch, and watch out for the Great White Whale!