Thursday, April 06, 2006

Meanwhile, In That Other War...

April 06, 2006

Navy ship returns with 61,000 pounds of cocaine

MAYPORT -- While most of the focus on the return of the USS Gettysburg from a six-month deployment was the reuniting of families, the ship's crew confiscated a record amount of cocaine while patrolling off the coasts of Central and South America.

The Gettysburg, working with the FBI, Coast Guard and other governments, confiscated 61,000 pounds of cocaine, worth almost $2 billion. The previous record for a Navy ship was 42,000 pounds from seven vessels, officials said.

Capt. Phil Davidson, the ship's commanding officer, commended his crew's "gumshoe work" in tracking and arresting drug runners.

Coast Guard crew on board the Gettysburg along with sailors and aviators from the Mayport-based Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 46 detained 42 people from the seven vessels.

In 2005, Navy ships and helicopters and Coast Guard detachments working under the Joint Interagency Task Force, seized 545,000 pounds of cocaine at sea and arrested 700 traffickers, said Lt. Jon Spiers, spokesman for the Mayport-based naval component of Southern Command.

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Damn fine work, sailors. Thanks.

Now go kiss your kids knowing how many you may have saved.

Liberty call, liberty call. Liberty commences by department at sixteen-hundred for sections 2 and 3 to expire on board tomorrow morning at zero-seven hundred. Now, liberty.





12 comments:

Cassandra said...

I'm still surprised, and a bit touched, at how much I like to see one of our ships even after all these years.

It's a fine sight, isn't it?

portia said...

Liberty call, Liberty call.

Makes me smile for you and sailors everywhere when I read those words, spd.

I confess I don't know much about "Liberty" in this context (I never dated--or even knew-- a sailor, at least not one on active duty) so I can only imagine how sweet it must be to put your feet on the ground, throw back a beer and let loose...if for only 24 hours or so.

Growing up watching movies like "On The Town", "Operation Petticoat" or even "Mister Roberts", offered little insight into what a Navy hitch really meant. It's a wonder I didn't enlist in the WAVES:)

All that changed when I saw the movie "The Last Detail," the bawdiest, most #$&% excellent &%*$ movie about sailors I have ever %*&$^ seen. It was a real eye-opener: a hilarious, unvarnished, emotional glimpse of what it must be like to be an enlisted man, the true backbone of the Navy, warts and all.

I don't know if the life of a sailor has changed much since then, or if the movie was even a true depiction. All I can say is that anyone who is willing to swear an oath, endure "chicken sh*t details," and long, lonely deployments at sea while risking life, deserves all our heartfelt thanks, and as much Liberty he can handle.

Lots of #&*% Liberty.

Cassandra said...

I used to love when my Daddy (don't you *dare* make fun of me - I am the biggest Daddy's girl on the planet, except when I get my back up because he is always trying to boss me around and even then I still love him to pieces) used to come home from sea in a good mood and tell sea stories and liberty stories. Some were so funny I would get stomach cramps from laughing.

Sometimes he would bring my Uncle Dick home and they would sit around smoking pipes and just yakking away. I must have been an awful pest. They fascinated me - they were so big and loud.

When I was 13 and took shop in junior high, the first thing I made was a mahoghany pipe rack for my Dad. He doesn't smoke anymore, but he still has it.

Oh, and I am bored. Back to work.

spd rdr said...

I learned to curse in third grade. bBut I learned to curse in the Navy.
I still miss those nights on deck, the trades blowing through the lines and the moon standing watch over the watery world. I can't describe that tender hole in my soul, or how much I miss it.

And then I remember how much the rest of it sucked. And I smile knowing that my eldest boy is discovering the same.

Cassandra said...

Well the always being gone aspect is not fun on the home front. My Mom and mother in law did not have easy lives and moving every year was really lousy. Compared to that, what I've had to deal with (a few 1 year unaccompanied tours, going to the field all the time, and only moving every 2-3 years) is nothing.

On the other hand we had some really interesting experiences growing up, but that may have been b/c of my Dad's career pattern.

portia said...

I can't describe that tender hole in my soul, or how much I miss it....

You just did, sailor.

spd rdr said...

You are a good read.
Thanks, Red.

Pooke said...

You got to be kidding me... I did an entire blog entry in your comments section and expired.

Anyway it was about the Navy. See, my Dad was in the Navy in Korea. There were eight kids in my family and Dad always cooked dinner. He made the best soups & stews in giant "Army" pots, where we would line up like Oliver kids and he would always tell us he learned to cook "in the Navy." So we always thought he was a Navy cook.

Dad was an aircraft mechanic. It wasn't until I became an adult that he shared with me some of the stories about how they came under fire, how some of his airmen would come close enought "to see the whites of their eyes" only to crash into the side of the carrier or to slide off into the ocean.

My late father-in-law was also a Sailor, a gunner on a battleship in fact during WWII. His story is even more interesting. His ship was sunk and he was taken POW by the Japaneese. One night, while his guard was sleeping he was able to wrestle his weapon, killed the guards and freed himself along with several others. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism, but battled demons the rest of his life.

spd rdr said...

These were brave men, Pooke. And the Navy still attracts them, too.

KJ said...

Word has it the party on the Gettysburg was awesome, and the disco was rocking.

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