USS George Washington

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Yesterday I took a “field trip” with 86 people from TAC. We went to the Yokoska Navy Base which is about 1  1/2 hours away.  It is near Yokohama. We toured the USS George Washington. This is one of about 11 ships at the base. It is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. It can hold about 70 aircraft on it.  It is amazingly huge.  The flight deck where they take off and land is so big you truly forget you are on a  ship.  It covers 4.5 acres. It is  257 feet long .  The ship is 244 feet tall ( about the height of a 24 story building).  There are approx 5000 sailors on board when fully staffed. Only about 15 are women.  When the planes land they have to go from 150 mph to a dead stop in 320 feet.  It was funny how often it came up that the newest sailors are often the ones at the controls “steering” the ship..  When the dry dock it, they have about 4 feet on either side to get it in. I will never complain about parking and driving in Japan again. I will post my pictures but I had  the telephoto lens only that day so they are not great shots. They were all very nice. A woman officer ate lunch at our table.  She works in intelligence.She said one of the things she misses the most when they are on the ship is the sun.  Strange huh??  But she said she can spend a few days inside , under the deck and realize she has not seen the sun in days. She has to make herself go out and get some rays.  She also said it is hard to adjust the first few days then she gets used to it. They deploy for 180 days at a  time. They will be going out some time in May probably. Another interesting thing she said is that she is working on getting some of the sailors to get their passports. Many don’t have one and she said that is very common. They don’t need one to be here in Japan since they are on the US base.  You would think that would be  a part of joining up. I definitely came a way with a sense of being thankful for the people who serve our country and protect us.
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