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thedrifter
04-27-04, 07:16 AM
Below the flight deck; Marines overcome life within a carrier

Submitted by: MCAS Beaufort
Story Identification Number: 2004420164345
Story by Cpl. Jeff M. Nagan



MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC(April 16, 2004) -- In the halls of a floating, steel island, time seems to move differently. The sun moves ominously across the horizon, which circles as far as the eye can see. The world that exists beyond seems far from reach.
At any given time, mammoth aircraft carriers are at sea for weeks, often months.

Meanwhile, inside the depths, a crew of nearly 6,000 Sailors and Marines live the sea life.

“The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome on ship is adapting to sea life,” said Cpl. Brian J. Coffey, seat mechanic, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115. “Here we sleep in smaller racks and live in closer quarters with the Marines.”

The Silver Eagles of VMFA-115 are deployed aboard the USS Harry S. Truman for a 30-day workup, which is in preparation for a six-month deployment slated in October.

“I don’t like the close quarters,” Coffey said. “I like my space, and you don’t get that here.”

Every morning, nearly half the Marines wake while half return to their beds to sleep. Many Marines have to get used to sleeping in a two-foot by six-foot bed that has only two feet of headspace. Racks are stacked three high with three other neighboring beds.
In addition to dealing with different living conditions, Marines have to adjust to not being near family and friends, according to Coffey.

“It’s hard being away from my wife, Nicole, and my family,” said Sesser, Ill., native Cpl. Burton O. Grimes, tool room, VMFA-115. “You get used to coming home and seeing them, but here you don’t have them.”
There are limited ways to keep in touch with loved ones, which include mail, electronic mail and phone calls.

“E-mail helps a lot, but it is no replacement for seeing her,” Grimes said.
One factor that keeps Marines’ minds off those at home is their busy work schedule.
“Here we work 12 hours on and 12 hours off,” Coffey said. “There is non-stop action. There is maintenance in the morning and the flight schedule in the afternoon, which runs late into the evening.”

On ship, work sections are consolidated into tightly organized areas. Many workspaces are less than half the size of the section at the Air Station. However, working in tight proximity offers a few advantages.

“I feel closer to the personnel in my shop,” Coffey said. “They’re the people you’re really with non-stop for 12-hours a day.”
Although Marines develop a closer camaraderie to those in their shop or on their shift, many feel further away from those on the other shift, because they rarely ever see them, according to Grimes.
“I like the fact that being on ship gives the newer Marines a chance to learn their jobs without any distractions,” Grimes said.

The Silver Eagles are a fairly fresh squadron, according to Coffey. The squadron has about 40 new Marines.

Throughout the day, Marines cycle their way onto the mess deck, or galley, for food. Despite more than three areas for Marines to get food, the lines are almost always packed with hungry crewmembers.

“The line for chow is long,” Coffey said. “You have to wait at least 20 minutes to eat a full meal, instead of like at home where you can eat whenever you want to.”

There is little variety in most Marines’ lives on ship, according to Grimes. Grimes, like many other Marines, goes to work, then eats, works out and finally sleeps.

“After work, I go to the gym and then sleep,” Coffey said. “After a 12-hour day and working out for a couple hours, you’re pretty toasted.”


http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2004420164558/$file/lifeatsealow.jpg

A Sailor watches as Maj. Robert "Horse" Rauenhorst comes in for a landing aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, April 7. Photo by: Cpl. Jeff M. Nagan

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/main5/AF1CC9079200FDDB85256E7C0071DE82?opendocument


Ellie

kentmitchell
04-27-04, 12:30 PM
Now, if you want my sympathy you'll have to spend some time on an APA like the Henrico. This scow was so bad during the Korean conflict it sometimes had to turn around and return to port for repairs.
And we were hauled around on it AFTER Korea. Bunks (canvas tied to iron rails) up to 10 high in dank, dark, stinking holds.
Crappy chow. Awful crew to deal with.

kentmitchell
04-27-04, 12:32 PM
Oh, and did I mention the Henrico's head?
Long steel troughs (big gutters) with water flowing continually.
You sat on two boards that lay across the trough.
We made the best of the situation by setting fire to a large wad of toilet paper and watching it float downstream under whoever was sitting at the time.

usmc4669
04-27-04, 02:35 PM
“The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome on ship is adapting to sea life,” said Cpl. Brian J. Coffey, seat mechanic, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115. “Here we sleep in smaller racks and live in closer quarters with the Marines.”
“I don’t like the close quarters,” Coffey said. “I like my space, and you don’t get that here.”

Poor baby


Every morning, nearly half the Marines wake while half return to their beds to sleep. Many Marines have to get used to sleeping in a two-foot by six-foot bed that has only two feet of headspace. Racks are stacked three high with three other neighboring beds.
In addition to dealing with different living conditions, Marines have to adjust to not being near family and friends, according to Coffey.

Again poor baby



“It’s hard being away from my wife, Nicole, and my family,” said Sesser, Ill., native Cpl. Burton O. Grimes, tool room, VMFA-115. “You get used to coming home and seeing them, but here you don’t have them.”
There are limited ways to keep in touch with loved ones, which include mail, electronic mail and phone calls.

Would you like a pacifier to help you sleep at night? This poor baby should have joined to Air Force, they don't have Aircraft Carriers. Seems as if our NEW Breed of Marines are getting soft. The new motto has changed from OooRah to WAWA.
From what I have seen of the new sleeping quarters on board of Carriers have changed for the best. We had canvas bunks stacked five high, the top one was just about two feet from the overhead and the bottom bunk was just off of the deck. The smell was like that of the Japanese binjo ditches. No air condition, just noisy fans. Most of us would haul our asses up to the flight-deck or hanger-deck at night to sleep, that is if we didn't have night operations. Cpl. Brian J. Coffey was lucky, he could keep in touch with his wife by email, phone, I only had the FPO to rely on and we would get our mail about once a week, sometimes it took two weeks for our mail to catch up with us. Oh well that was lift in the fast lanes back then.

MillRatUSMC
04-27-04, 02:38 PM
http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/100322002.jpg
USS Okanogan APA-220...we took a little cruise in 1962 towards the island of Cuba.
To deal with some missles that the russkies were trying to aim at the USA.
We had the same dank, dark, stinking holds that all troop transport have.
It strange when I seethe history of the USS Okanogan APA 220 there no mention of it's role in the "Missles of October 1962".
I remember going to Rosy Roads for resupply, going to Enlisted Mens club.
On leaving some sailors tried picking a fight with the few Marines that were left after we dropped the Battalion at Vegas.
That when some of the sailors off the USS Okanogan saw that we were off the USS Okanogan, they commences to fight the other sailors.
About then the SP showed up, they haul off a lot of those drunken sailors.
The first thing you learn when traveling by APA, don't take the bottom bunk and to try to stay out of those holds as possible.
Than the were LST's those were a joy to travel on.
My best form of travel were submarines...those were the old subs not the nuclear powered of today...

Semper Fidelis
Ricardo