Monday, September 12, 2005

The USS Bataan and Hurricane Katrina

The thing I learn about Liberals is that they forsake the truth or ignore important facts when they are trying to make a story. I found an article from a Liberal Blog called The Loaded Mouth. The article was written by Stephen J. Hedges, a Tribune National Correspondent, and titled Navy Ship Nearby Underused. Here is the section in question:

The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore.

The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents.

But now the Bataan's hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty. A good share of its 1,200 sailors could also go ashore to help with the relief effort, but they haven't been asked. The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship.

The Reporter is clearly trying to misdirect the reader on how FEMA (and the Bush Administration) is handling the Relief Effort of Hurricane Katrina by focusing on what the ship is not doing instead of what they ship has done. Why do I say this? Funny you should ask!

The article above briefly mentions the actions that the USS Bataan has been doing, but really glosses over the USS Bataan's efforts. Here is a nice little quote from the
Navy Newstand that clearly illustrates how much work the ship is doing.

We've been extremely busy this past week with more tasks than there are hours in a day, said Cmdr. Jeffrey Bocchicchio, Bataan's air boss. The shortest day the department has had was 16 hours long, but they understand that everything we do is critical to the mission.

They are working 16 hours days and the writer has the nerve to title the article "Navy Ship Nearby Underused".

The next article I find is from Military.com and it is very interesting as it states:

Bataan is currently underway in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 100 miles South of New Orleans. The ship's involvement in humanitarian assistance operations is an effort by the Department of Defense in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Now, we all know ships can move, but when operating they stay in a certain working areas off the coast. The article states that the USS Bataan is 100 miles south of New Orleans, but to make my next point, it does not matter if the USS Bataan is a few miles off the coast. Think about this:


2. To give the reader a visual representation, Stephen Hedges embellishes and little and makes it seem like that there are 600 empty racks on board the USS Bataan. Now, anyone who has been on a ship knows that rack space is very limited, even for the crew. I am pretty sure Stephen Hedges got his information from the Official USS Bataan Website which states:

For combat support, as well as non-combatant evacuation and other humanitarian missions, LHDs have hospital facilities second only to the Navy's HOSPITAL SHIPS, including six fully-equipped medical
operating rooms, three dental rooms, and hospital facilities capable of caring for as many as 600 patients.

Someone please tell Mr. Hedges that caring for 600 people and having an extra 600 empty racks are not the same thing. And if you are wondering about the medical facilities not being used, see point 1 and remember that any medical supplies, food, medicine, etc. needs to brought on board. Of course, if it was brought on board, than who are going to fly the Search and Rescue missions?

3. My last point, is that in order for this ship to be used in the manner that Stephen Hedges seems fit, it would have to dock close to New Orleans. The USS Iwo Jima is there now and it is being used as the Main Headquarters. (Sorry, no reference for the USS Iwo Jima, I was just told this today in a briefing - yeah, you guessed it, I'm in the Navy).

The best part of this whole thing is, again, from the Loaded Mouth's Comment Section, where a poster named Kryten42 (a very bleeding heart Liberal) who gets pwned by me at every turn (I am posting as AAA Dude). The two best comments are:

"100% wrong! First, that *article* was written by the Public Affairs Office of the USS Bataan, you moron!"

So, Stephen Hedges is now a Navy Public Affairs Officer and not a Tribune National Correspondent?

The second is "Must have spent your time in the galley then..." comment.

I point to him that if he knew anything about the military, he would know that the people on the Mess Decks work harder than anyone else on ship. His jab at me to somehow discredit what I said shows how little he knows about the military and if he cared anything about the troops, like I do, he would be proud of anyone who served in the military, no matter what their job is. Of course, preparing 4 meals a day for over 5000 people, working port and starboard duty sections while the ship is in port (everyone else is in 4 Duty Sections), and having to work when the rest of the crew has a day off (people have to eat even when they don't work) is not good enough to garner any respect from Kryten42. But, Liberals claim they care about the troops, right?

But, hey why listen to me? All I have done is spend 16 years in the Navy, 9 and half of them as an Enlisted Sailor and 7 and half of them as an Officer, went on four Deployments (one being a 10 month cruise on the USS Abraham Lincoln and the other being a 5 month cruise on the USS John C. Stennis), flew combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom (where I received an Air Medal), etc., etc.

Also, if you have time see how Jay Tea of Wizbang really pwns Krysten42 on the difference between a USS ship and a USNS ship.

BTW - if you want to comment on the Loaded Mouth now, you have to register. I guess that is another way the Liberals keep their lies going, making it harder for people to find out the truth.

5 Comments:

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