USS Bataan will host UF basketball opener


Florida basketball's season opener against Georgetown will be played aboard the USS Bataan on Nov. 9 off Naval Air Station Mayport in Jacksonville. (Photo by The Virginian-Pilot)

Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 2:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 2:25 p.m.

Florida will play its basketball season opener against Georgetown on an amphibious carrier with a lineage that dates back to World War II.

The USS Bataan will serve as the host ship for the Navy/Marine Corps Classic between the Gators and Hoyas on Nov. 9 off Naval Air Station Mayport in Jacksonville.

The initial Bataan was named in honor of the defense of the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines during the Americans' early involvement in World War II. Bataan V, commissioned in 1997, assisted in amphibious support during the Iraq War from 2003-07 and provided rescue and relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

The Bataan is 844 feet long with a well deck that's 267 feet. The ship can accommodate up to 3,200 troops and crew members.

The USS Mesa Verde and USS Carter Hall will accompany the USS Bataan at NAS Mayport as a representational amphibious ready group.

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