A closer look at the USS Bataan
Published: Friday, November 9, 2012 at 5:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 9, 2012 at 5:32 p.m.
Florida plays its basketball season opener against Georgetown on an amphibious carrier with a lineage that dates back to World War II.
USS Bataan (LHD 5) Fast Facts
Commissioned: Sept. 20, 1997
Length: 844 feet
Deck length: 267 feet
Beam: 106 feet
Crew members: 975
Recent missions: Provided humanitarian aid during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, earthquakes in Haiti in 2010.
History: Memorializes the valiant resistance of American and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula in the dawning days of World War II. The resistance also was known as “The Bataan Death March.”
The USS Bataan, the host carrier for the Navy-Marine Corps Classic between the Gators and Hoyas, arrived at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville from Naval Station Norfolk last week. It returned from a 10-and-a-half month deployment last February and is currently undergoing maintenance.
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 current crew of 975, led by Bataan executive officer George Vassilakis, has undergone a 30 percent turnover since the end of its last deployment. Its next deployment is scheduled for late 2013 or early 2014.
“We’re doing some sea trials now,” said Vassilakis, who is a big Gator fan. “We are now on what we call our basic training phase … it’s a crawl, walk, run approach much like the preseason in college basketball.”
The USS Mesa Verde and USS Carter Hall accompanied the USS Bataan at Mayport as a representational amphibious ready group.
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