Feeling at Home on a Carrier in the Atlantic Ocean

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 9, 2016

Contact: Kathleen Connery Dawe/Scott Ogden (202) 224-5344

Feeling at Home on a Carrier in the Atlantic Ocean Earlier this month, I took the U.S. Navy up on their invitation to spend a weekend on board the carrier USS George Washington as part of my ongoing work as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. It was an unforgettable and informative experience, but the highlight was meeting sailors from Maine who serve on the ship.  I had dinner with a group of about ten sailors from around Maine hailing from Bucksport, Durham, Fort Kent, Phippsburg, Brunswick, Portland, Waldoboro and points in between. Most of them had enlisted in the Navy right out of high school, and some planned to stay in the Navy, while others had plans to leave in the next few years. But no matter their plans for the future, they all shared an immense pride in what they are doing now aboard an amazing ship.To be out there on a giant ship off the coast of North Carolina, having dinner with people from Maine, it felt like being at home. I was reminded that we have truly remarkable people working every day to protect our country, all doing different things with the same goal of keeping us safe. For instance, one of the Maine sailors was in engineering. Another was a cook. One was a journalist on the ship. They all had different roles, they were all doing different things, but they were all working towards the same goal.

 

The next morning, I had breakfast with a few naval aviators who had spent time at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. And a lot of the talk was that closing the base in Brunswick was a strategic mistake (I couldn’t agree more). Now, we’re lucky that the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority and others are doing great work to replace the jobs lost from the base closure and build economic growth, but it’s difficult to replace the spirit that the Navy brought to the area. That same spirit of community was on fine display on the deck of the carrier, and perhaps that was part of the reason I felt so at home.  Make no mistake, the operations on board the USS George Washington were impressive. The coordination of the F/A-18 fighter jet landings and take-offs was amazing, with planes being moved in what seemed like all directions and crews readying them for the next flight. What was even more amazing was to see them do it all at night. The pilots have to hit a window of only a few feet to catch the trip wire, which then takes the plane from over a hundred miles per hour to zero in 3 seconds. Believe me, it’s a jolt just to watch.  As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I have a responsibility to make the most informed decisions possible about the defense of our country. And in order to do that, it’s critical that I spend time with members of our armed forces in settings like this one where I can see their daily operations firsthand. I learned a lot during my brief stay on the ship, but without a doubt, the biggest impression was the pride and professionalism of the sailors. We are so lucky to have these great people looking after us.###

 

Teague Morris
Outreach Director | Senator Angus S. King, Jr., Maine
4 Gabriel Drive, Suite 3 | Augusta, ME 04330
Tel: 207-622-8292 | Tel: 1-800-432-1599 | Cell: 207-252-8997
Fax: 207-621-0286 | teague_morris@king.senate.gov
http://www.king.senate.gov/
  

Post expires at 7:17am on Wednesday January 11th, 2017

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