The best part of Fleetweek in San Francisco is when the US Navy comes into town. This year, I was able to organize a private tour of the USS Shoup, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer for the Moffett Field Museum and some of it’s members. Yup, a guided missile destroyer! 9,200 tons, 509 ft 6 in, 276 officers and enlisted personal whose sole purpose is to counter air, surface and submarine threats, and make their day really, really bad.
Built around the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, the USS Shoup is capable of tracking over a 100 threats on, above, and under the ocean. Armed with 96 x RIM-67 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asroc missiles and the new Phalanx CIWS (Close-in Weapon System), pronounced see-wiz, it is capable of protecting itself, the carrier group or amphibious assult group from any threat. The CIWS fires 7,000 rounds of ammunition per minute, neutralizing anything in its path.
In addtion to the onboard defense systems, the USS Shoup has two LAMPS Mk III MH-60 B/R helicopters with Penguin/Hellfire missiles and Mk 46/Mk 50 torpedoes housed in two helicopter hangars on the aft deck. The USS Shoup was also used and featured in the movie The Transformers; one of my favorite movies. 🙂
While we were givin the full VIP tour of the ship, including unprecedented access to the Bridge, aircraft hangars, galley, and the heart of the ship, the Combat Information Center (CIC), we were not allowed to take pictures for security reasons. But let’s just say it was very, very impressive. Each and every crew member on board was gracious and extremely courteous. The finest I have ever encountered. These men and women are a tribute to the Navy and we owe them a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they have made and the services they provide.
Victoria Per Perserverantiam Venit -“Through Perseverance Comes Victory”
A special thanks to MC1 Krishna Jackson for helping setting up the tour. And to FC2(SW) Brady Hankins (Left) and GMC(SW) James Kitsmiller(Right) and for showing us the ins and outs of the USS Shoup and letting me push some buttons, even the red one. 🙂
For more pictures, check out my USS Shoup Gallery.