Tuesday, June 30, 2009

USS Ronald Reagan, Changi Naval Base, Singapore

The USS Ronald Reagan

Every once in a while I get lucky. Yippe kaye lucky. I had to postpone my trip to KK over the weekend because of a last minute meeting in Singapore. I got a call late Friday saying that the meet had been postponed to Sunday. I was pissed as I had no time to change my flight. So had no choice to fly in early and spend the night in the city state.

My contact who probably was fearing a Grumpy Attack from me managed to get me on a tour of the the US Navy aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan that was docked at the Changi Naval Base on its tour of the Asia Pacific.

The docks at Changi Naval Base. On the left is the USS Lake Champlain, part of the Carrier Strike Group (7)

What can I say y'all... :D. How often do you get this chance to get on a nuclear powered city? It was a PERFECT day. Bright sunshine, blue skies, the gorgeous South China Sea and enough firepower to take down a drunk Decepticon.

One of the hangars within the ship.

The hangar with the jets fuel tanks stored above. This whole scene just made me think of some Battlestar Galatica hangar scene. Seen here are a Prowler aircraft and a Sea Hawk chopper.

F/A-18F Super Hornet.

The smaller of the two Hawkeyes on board (so I was told)

A Prowler flanked by two F-18s

I know the Navy uses Sea Hawks. I was told they also have Nighthawks which I assume would be black so this must be a Sea Hawk.

View of half the lenght of the runway.

Part of Commander Carrier Strike Group 7

The USS Lake Chaplain. Go HERE for more info.

The USS Chancellorsville. Go HERE for more details.

Go HERE to the official site. But you might get a more concise info on Wikipedia HERE. All in all good fun although because of time restrictions (we were held up at the security check point for H1N1 testing), we did not have the chance to get into the bowels of the ship. BUT STILL, breath taking!

Quick Facts :

1. The Navy employs a buddy system when the crew go off shore for R and R - if a seaman gets into trouble they both get penalised wheather the other sea man is innocent. The crew cannot be on the streets of any port town they are in between 2am and 6am. The MPs patrol the streets looking out for wayward sailors.

2. There is a height restriction on the crew that work on the deck. Guys who are shorter than the height of the aircraft wings are preferred for obvious reasons.

3. The crew is normally at sea for 6 months before heading back to base for 6 months

4. The ship is a floating city with it's own hospital, police dept, Starbucks, etc.

5. It has 5,000 crew members.

6. Its nuclear reactor runs the ship for 20- 25 years before being replaced.

7. The planes do not always stay on the carrier if there are air bases nearby that they can use. Singapore was of course too small for this.

8. The crewmen are young. Very young. Some of the 19 year olds operate on the bridge. Its like a little United Nations with American from all manner of ethicity from home bred farm boys from Iowa, to American born Vietnamese, Puerto Rican, Indians, etc.

9. The cost to build the USS Ronald Reagan was about USD4.5 BILLION BUCKS. If they gave the plans to our Malaysian copyright pirates we would all be able to get an air craft carrier each in luminous colors that would they would exchange anytime if the nuclear reactor was faulty.

10. An F-18 Hornet costs about USD30 million each ~insert joke about USD30,000 wrench~.

The Singapore Navy's 'stealth' mine sweepers docked nearby.


Ally Bedhouin said...

Chindy - you are a geek. Totally.

Chindiana said...

A geek? nah, not there yet. The Trekkies would take that as an insult to their clan.

mangrish speaker said...

chindy do i detect some drool and spunk in your article?

awesome machineries tho and can't help but think what if... they're transformers???

now... where's megan?

Chindiana said...

mangrish! a wittle bwit of dwool only. well, if they were transformers that would mean megan fox would be sitting on my... never mind......

mangrish speaker said...

gear schtick?

Chindiana said...

damn... secret's out :P

LM said...

dammit! u lucky duck!
I wish i could see it.
The last one i went was years ago docked at klang.
Cant remember the name la.
But was fun.

P/S: Based on "Quick facts: No.2,I can go work there ler..... or more like, WE can go work there ler.... :)

Nex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nex said...

Very cool and all, but can it transform into a bad-ass robot? :P

BTW did you mange to take in ride in the elevator that lifts the aircraft up from the hangar? That's one thing I really want to experience if I'm ever on an aircraft carrier - while listening to the Top Gun theme song on my headphones :)

Chindiana said...

LM! -_- BUT I checked and YES i CAN work on the deck. so I see if they can allow foreign citizens to enlist?

Nex! Yeah took that elevator - a bit anti-climactic as it was too smooth and too fast.