USS Fort McHenry Welcomes More than 1,000 Guests Aboard

USS Fort McHenry Welcomes More than 1000 Guests Aboard

USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) welcomed more than 1,000 guests aboard for the Star-Spangled Sailabration, June 15, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the nation’s flag.

Crew members conducted guided tours around the deckplates and visitors observed the day-to-day activities Sailors and Marines perform aboard the ship, as well as some of the tasks Marines perform while ashore or forward deployed.

Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 26 (CLB 26), embarked for the War of 1812 celebrations, displayed equipment and vehicles for public view, and offered demonstrations on various tools of the trade.

Marine Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) members attached to CLB 26 donned the heavy Kevlar EOD suit used to protect Marines when they handle and dispose of various explosive devices. Guests were also introduced to the “EOD Bot,” the remote-controlled robot that allows EOD teams to gather information and/or handle explosives while keeping personnel out of harm’s way.

Lance Cpl. Easten Fry, a field artillery cannoneer with Bravo Battery 1/10, also attached to CLB 26, was the subject matter expert for the Marine Corps’ M777A2 Howitzer, answering questions and giving demonstrations of the weapon’s capabilities.

“Having people take time out of their day to walk a quarter of a mile down a pier in the heat to hear about my job makes me feel appreciated,” Fry said.

United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps Seaman Apprentice Phillip Plunkard expressed his excitement about being onboard a warship. “Getting to learn all about the Navy, and seeing all the helicopters was so cool!”

While aboard, Plunkard met Cmdr. Ray Hartman, commanding officer of Fort McHenry, who shared words of wisdom and encouragement.

Fort McHenry is homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story, and is currently preparing for its upcoming deployment.

Naval Today Staff, June 19, 2012; Image: US Navy