Sunday 31 May 2020

PHOTO GALLERY #33: Mount Whitney, amphibious command ship of the United States Navy

This is another photo gallery from my visit to Kiel in 2019, on the first weekend of the 137th Kiel Week. The Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) or Kiel Regatta is an annual sailing event in Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The first weekend of the Kiel Week, the famous Naval Base of Kiel, opens its gates for just four hours per day, for thousands of tourists who are eager to visit the German Navy warships and dozens of foreign warships which visit the city of Kiel, to honor the Kiel Week. Among the visiting ships, was the

The modular nature of the ship means that whatever computer gear a command needs can be brought onto the ship, and the ship just needs to be able to power those systems. Therefore, the t
The navigation bridge with the mast. Note the old AN/SPS-10
surface search radar and the modern KH navigation radars

The "pagoda" fitted with various antennas

The front Phalanx CIWS in the latest configuration (B1B Baseline 2)
port visit in Kiel as part of annual joint, multinational maritime-focused Exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS). BALTOPS is the premier annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, marking the 47th year of one of the largest exercises in Northern Europe enhancing flexibility and interoperability among allied and partnered nations. U.S. 2nd Fleet, commanded by Vice Adm. Andrew "Woody" Lewis, joined the Mount Whitney to lead BALTOPS on behalf of Naval Forces Europe, marking the first time the Fleet operated in the European theater. Combined Task Force 162, commanded by Rear Admiral Andrew Burns, OBE, commander of the United Kingdom Maritime Forces and deputy commander of the exercise, also embarked Mount Whitney. Additional representatives from Carrier Strike Group 2, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center were also aboard in support of BALTOPS 2019.

A glimpse at the JOC. Photo: US Navy

The fleet commander and his staff make use of the ship’s (super-secret!) large operations center, where they can monitor events, hold meetings and brief others via secured communications. It was forbidden to take any photos inside the ship with the exception of the bridge. Nevertheless, the tour was amazing! Enjoy the photos!

The bow of USS Mount Whitney

View of the superstructure
Note the various SATCOM domes and antennas
One of the Typhoon RWS is visible
View of the huge ship!
RHIB and crane
The mast. Note the SLQ-32 EW systems
MH-60 Knight Hawk helicopter
MH-60 Knight Hawk helicopter on the large flight deck
The communications mast
Close-up photo of the communications mast
View of the flight deck with one MH60 on board
MH-60 Knight Hawk helicopter

The weapon control stations for the two Mk38 Mod 2 RWS

Bridge's interior with remote operation consoles
The screen for the Kelvin Hughes navigation/surveillance radar
The commanding officer's seat!
The old steering wheel!
Closer photo of the steering wheel
The free deck. Note the two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers
At the front of the Mk38 Mod 2 RWS there is an Mk36 SRBOC
decoy launcher covered
Another view of the front deck
The ship is fitted with numerous antennas allover its deck
The clean topside area is the result of careful design intended
to minimize the ship's interference with her own communications system.
The Mk38 Mod 2 remote weapon station
Ammunition box near the Typhoon RWS
View of the quite tall mast
AN/SLQ-32(V)3 active/passive EW antenna
AN/SLQ-32(V)3 active/passive EW antenna
Various SATCOM antennas
View of the mast and the smoke stack

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