USS Iowa’s Bathtub

16 inch guns on the USS IOWA located at Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles.

Pssst, you ever seen a Navy ship with a bathtub? Me neither. But the USS Iowa, newly berthed in Southern California’s San Pedro, has one:

Of course, one of the major attractions is the bathtub that was installed to accommodate disabled President Franklin Roosevelt, who traveled across the Atlantic on board the Iowa to meet with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in Tehran during World War II. It remains the only battleship with bathtub. And there isn’t much to it. The tub is small, taking up a good piece of the bathroom that also features a small sink and toilet.

Let’s go with bathtubs on all of our boats. . .

Update: Thanks to salty reader NavyDavy, we have an article showing the Navy going in another direction, ie: no urinals on our latest carrier, the USS Gerald Ford.

Things I Learned on an Aircraft Carrier

Artist’s impression of the USS Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier

Aircraft Carriers are built to ferry four acres of United States “soil” around the world. To wherever we may need it. To support and defend allies, to protect American interests, or to attack enemies.

They are not, however, built for tall people. Case in point, the scab I just discovered on the top of my head. I schwacked my melon three times daily the first week I was underway. Slowly, I got more aware and lowered my stats to two and then one hit a day.

I can proudly say that I went whole days towards the end of my cruise without murdering my noggin. My top five skull clangers:

1. Forgetting there is cross-bar as you step into a bathroom stall. I literally felt my teeth rattle in mouth and saw stars with that one. All the bathroom stalls (since they are attached to each other) shook. I apologize in advance to all the guys who have to tighten the bolts. I definitely loosened a couple of them.

2. Turning around in a passageway and missing the low-hanging light. Yes, it was painted bright yellow. No, I was not looking at it. No, it was not as painful as it looked. Yes, the six enlisted folks were amused when I rocked it. Yes, they asked in chorus if I was alright. Yes, one of them gave me the classic: Ohhhhhhhhhhh. No, I did not hang around. Me and my bruised pride wandered off. Quickly.

3. Stepping through a watertight opening and mis-estimating its height by one centimeter. Sure, we use inches in America, but that one centimeter really left a mark. I wonder if that is where my scab came from?

4. Focusing too much on turning the doorknob and not enough on stooping. As I entered the wardroom for lunch. That door made me religious. As in: I prayed no one saw my clumsiness. Dear God, let me never do that again.

5. Forgetting that I had about 20 inches of rack space when I lived in the overflow Chief’s birthing. Who puts an Officer in there anyway? Waking up and clunking your head, priceless. And very effective at getting me awake.

That’s all. No more head knocking stories. I’ve got my reputation to consider here. . .

Go here for Part II, Berthing Aboard an Aircraft Carrier

The Many Hatted Iranian General Ataollah Salehi

Iranian Army Chief Ataollah Salehi Wears a Ski Jump

Remember how General Ataollah Salehi warned us not to return to the Persian Arabian Gulf?

The USS Stennis had just steamed through the Hormuz. And then the Tehran-us Rex General had a couple of things to say. My boots, I quaked in them:

The response followed Iranian Army Chief Ataollah Salehi’s warning Tuesday that “the enemy’s carrier” not be allowed to return through the Gulf passage.

“I advise, recommend and warn them (the Americans) over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once,” the semi-official Fars news agency reportedly stated.

General Ataollah Salehi

Salehi did not get specific on action to be taken or a carrier to heed warning, but the USS John C Stennis passed through the Strait of Hormuz in the days prior to the Iranian war games en route to help with the war effort in Afghanistan.

It is now in the Northern Arabian Sea somewhere between Oman and Pakistan.

Yikes, so the Stennis should not return. How about our other carriers? And what’s up, Ataollah, with your wacky headgear? Nice looks, but they are little ’09ish. . .

Duck-billed General Ataollah Salehi

As for our carriers, what about the newest and shiniest? The USS Gerald Ford. It’s got some balls bells, a few whistles:

Currently being assembled in Newport News, Virginia, the Ford-class will replace the Nimitz-class carriers and will include an array of new technology:

  • Advanced arresting gear used to grab planes as they land on the deck.
  • Automation, which reduces crew requirements by several hundred from the Nimitz class carrier.
  • The updated RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile system.
  • AN/SPY-3 dual-band radar (DBR), as developed for Zumwalt class destroyers.
USS Gerald R. Ford, Straits of Hormuz bound?
  • An Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) in place of traditional steam catapults for launching aircraft.
  • A new nuclear reactor design (the A1B reactor) for greater power generation.
  • Stealthier features to help reduce radar profile.
  • The ability to launch the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, and the F-35C Lightning II.
General Salehi Celebrates A Denver Broncos Touchdown!

Hey Ataollah, hows’ about this Ford Fairlane launching carrier? Fearsome, eh? Not only can we launch F-18s, F-35s, we can throw Detroit’s finest at you!

Note: no links are provided for fashion-plate Ataollah Salehi’s pics. Some websites were on the shady side. (“Official News of the Republic.”) Like that day-old shwarma sandwich you forgot to refrigerate. And while I don’t mind traipsing around those places, I would not suggest you do. Hypocrisy, thy name is blogger. Yes, and?

Note II: Can I entertain you with two of the hatted one’s greatest hits?

-The enemy has gone insane and given the insane enemy’s history, we should always be prepared.

-The Iranian nation will observe that we will manufacture the largest destroyer and the most advanced submarines in the region. Mass production of fighter jets, the samples of which were unveiled last year (2008), and plans to manufacture vessels and submarines will be on our agenda in the new (Iranian) year (started 20 March.)

Yeah yeah. Vessels, subs. Destroyers. What about some new headgear? Something casual, but classy. Like a Kangol. No? Okay, then how about answering this question: why does your boy Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces, General Hasan Firouzabadi, wear a hat flatter than a pancake, while you rock the ski jump?

General Ataollah Salehi, Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces, General Hasan Firouzabadi, Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari

Inquiring skulls, they want to know. . .