Commandant of Colombian Marine Corps Visits USS Rushmore


The commandant of the Colombian Marine Corps, toured USS Rushmore (LSD 47) Sept. 13 to learn about the amphibious missions and capabilities of the U.S. Navy.

Brig. Gen. Luis Gomez was joined by Rear Adm. Gerard Hueber, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, along with 43 Colombian officers from the Colombian Joint War College.

“I am happy to be here,” remarked General Gomez. “The Colombian and U.S. navies have a tradition of working together, and I am happy to have the opportunity to be here and learn more about how an amphibious ship operates.”

The Colombian Marine Corps’ focus for amphibious capability is operations in the littoral and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.

Rushmore Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Brian Finman, led the distinguished guests on a tour highlighting unique amphibious capabilities. The tour included the boat deck, the well deck, the medical facilities, troop berthing and dining facilities, as well as Combat Information Center and the pilot house. Many Rushmore Sailors were standing by to speak about their rates.

“This was the first time I met anyone from Colombia, and in particular, the Commandant of the Colombian Marine Corps,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Ian Massey, ship’s self defense system operator. “The brigadier general was friendly and appreciated my explanation of the ship’s self defense capabilities. It was nice of him to come to the ship.”

Finman said the tour was beneficial for the crew and guests.

“This was a great opportunity for our Sailors to work with foreign guests and tell them who they are and what they do,” said Finman. “It was a great visit for everyone and I was honored to have them on board Rushmore.”

Rushmore is the seventh of eight ships in the Whidbey Island class. The ship’s mission is to embark Marines with their combat equipment and vehicles, then remain at sea as an on-call force to conduct a diverse range of amphibious operations.

Source: navy, September 16, 2011;