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Saturday, December 12, 2015

USS Zumwalt - enters into a new American Navy

Today December 12, 2015 the Midshipmen at Annapolis deeated the Cadets at West Point at the annual Army-Navy game held in Philadephpia, PA, the score was Army 17, Navy 21 and it was a very good game. This is the 14th time Navy has defeated Army in the annual classic.  Yet, this week was also a time of extraordinary change for the US Navy.  In fact, a new Navy emerged from Bath Iron Works with the launching of the USS Zumwalt.
USS Zumwalt passes Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth Maine a "war and peace" image.

A New Navy emerged from Bath Iron Works in Bath Maine with the launching of the USS Zumwalt. It's a state of the art "battleship".  Yet, to call the Zumwalt a "battleship" is like calling a jet airplane a "barnstormer".  In fact, the Zumwalt is a slick and clandistine defense weapon. Now that it's launched, the Zumwalt has complely antiquated the entire US Navy fleet of "tin cans" and all future ships of this class will become even more svelt, efficient and expensive.

The Portland Press Herald reports:
Navy destroyer USS Zumwalt christened at Bath Iron Works

The 610-foot-long warship has advanced technology and a stealthy design to reduce its visibility on enemy radar.

BATH — A crowd of thousands gathered at Bath Iron Works to watch the christening of the USS Zumwalt, the largest and most technologically advanced destroyer in Navy history.

Relatives of the ship’s namesake, Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., former chief of naval operations, as well as top Navy brass and Maine elected leaders celebrated the near-completion of a $3.3 billion ship that is the first of a new class of high-tech destroyers.

Every aspect of the Zumwalt’s exterior was designed to make the ship harder to detect on radar despite its size. Antennas, radar dishes and communications equipment are either hidden or enclosed in a 900-ton “superstructure” that sits atop the ship like a massive gray fortress.

The Zumwalt’s hull is designed to slice through waves with less wake, and Navy officials say the ship will have a fraction of the radar profile of the smaller Arleigh Burke-class DDG 51 destroyers also built at BIW.

Yet, how much defense can one state of the art "battleship" provide?  This is an certainly an expensive experiment!  

But, the Zumwalt is already proudly showing off by doing public relations, even rescuing a Maine fisherman in distress:

The U.S. Navy's brand new $4.3 billion stealth destroyer, the Zumwalt, came to the rescue of a fisherman suffering chest pains early Saturday off the coast of Maine.

It was only Monday that the Zumwalt, the largest destroyer ever built for the Navy, headed out to sea for the first time.

Coast Guard officials reported receiving a distress call at about 3 a.m., saying the 46-year-old captain of the fishing boat Danny Boy was suffering chest pains about 40 miles southeast of Portland.

The Zumwalt was conducting sea trials in the area and responded to the scene, the Portland Press Herald reported.

A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter had responded from Air Station Cape Cod but the crew determined a hoist of the stricken fisherman would be too dangerous due to the configuration of the fishing boat's deck.

Officials said a crew and small boat from the Zumwalt transferred the man to the destroyer's deck. The helicopter crew then hoisted the patient and transported him to shore, where he was taken to Maine Medical Center for care.

USS Zumwalt in Portland Harbor, Maine involved in fisherman rescue.

"Our main concern with this type of medical emergency is to recover the patient safely and transport them to a higher level care as quickly as possible,” said Lt. David Bourbeau, public affairs officer at Sector Northern New England. “Fortunately, the Zumwalt was operating in the area and was able to provide valuable assistance.”

Two days ago the Press Herald reported that the Zumwalt caught Maine’s largest city by surprise when it emerged from the fog just off Cape Elizabeth and slipped unannounced into Portland Harbor.

Regardless of the USS Zumwalt's expensive price, or whether or not it will be as effective as predicted, the fact is, the US Navy is forever changed as a result of its launching.

It's not our grandfather's, or even John Paul Jones' Navy, anymore.

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