The USS Mitscher made its way up the channel in dense fog early this morning–a horn sounding off every two minutes to let other boats know it was coming. The Mitscher is a powerful ship, over 500 feet long with nearly 300 souls on board.
Because the ship is so large and there are so many people on board, everyone is educated in fundamental firefighter skills.
“’We are self-sustaining, so everyone on board is trained to deal with some of the immediate casualties that might come up throughout the middle of the ocean so basic firefighting for everybody, self-defense for the ship,” says Lt. Brian Harrington.
And some of those on board are from the gulf coast! Damien Hunter is from Lisman, Alabama.
“Roll tide, all the way,” says Hunter.
He’ll be meeting up with his wife and two daughters while he’s here—he hasn’t seen them in six months.
“Whatever they want to do, go out, movie, dinner, just watching TV,” says Hunter.
Nathan Adams is from Panama City.
“My family’s meeting me on the pier and I’m going to go back home cause I haven’t seen them in about a year and a half,” says Adams.
And Jessica Wright grew up around Hattiesburg and hasn’t seen her parents in about a year. She knows what she’s looking forward to!
“Probably eat a lot of southern food, sweet tea of course cause Virginia, they don’t have it like they do in the south!” says Wright.
The rest of the crew is looking forward to Mardi Gras, which they had a taste of when we pulled into port! The ship had a warm welcome from Mobile dignitaries and festivities have begun!
The ship’s namesake even has a tie to the USS Alabama. Admiral Marc Mitscher was a famed Naval Aviator and commander of the aircraft carrier task force during World War Two. While he was admiral, the Alabama was his flagship and members of his staff would be on the USS Alabama giving directions to the task force.
You can tour the USS Mitscher Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday from 8-10am and 1-3pm. Tours are free to the public. The ship is docked just north of the convention center at the port of Mobile.