Mideast tour: on the USS Gettysburg
September 6, 2007
Guns and wind, guns and wind!
After flying into Bahrain, we immediately were flown onto the USS Enterprise, 200 miles into the Persian Gulf. This required sitting in the tiny, windlowless nose of a plane, wearing a helmet, earplugs, and a harness (hot!), and, of course, landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier. We later watched this process, which is pretty amazing — each airplane has a hooked tail that drags behind it, catching a cable, which keeps the plane from flying right off the other end of the aircraft carrier. If the plane fails to catch the cable, it is very important that the plane keep going full speed so it can fly off the other end, without falling into the water, and try again. Therefore, the planes landing on the flight deck don’t slow down — in fact, they speed up! And their little tails catch this rubber-band thing and just stop them cold. It’s a little jarring from the inside.
After doing a show in the Enterprise’s hangar later the same evening….
…and then a 9am (yes, a.m., oh-nine-hundred) show the next morning for the guys who work nights, we were transported by helicopter to the USS Gettysburg for an afternoon show in the mess hall. Um, how cool is that? The helicopter’s door stayed open the entire time, with a big gun poking out of it. On the way back, the guy who operates the gun had his shirt off for the whole ride. (It certainly was hot, but it might have had something to do with the all-women comedy show).
Here’s a video from the deck of the USS Gettysburg: