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PHOTO GALLERY: Cherokee NJROTC tours ships, bases in and around Norfolk

COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR • Oct 26, 2017 at 1:05 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Last week the Cherokee High School NJROTC visited the U.S. Navy Joint Base Little Creek, Nauticus Interactive Science and Technology Center, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and Battle Ship Wisconsin (BB 64).

On Thursday, Oct. 19  CHS NJROTC traveled to Virginia Beach, Va. for their stay at Camp Pendleton National Guard base. Later that evening cadets visited the Navy Exchange at Oceana Naval Station.

On Friday cadets arose early for breakfast at the Joint Base Little Creek Fort Story Galley. After breakfast, cadets reported to Beachmaster Unit Two. BMU-2 has the mission of providing tactical components in support of Amphibious Operations and provides Naval Beach Party Teams (BPTs) for deployment in conjunction with Expeditionary Forces.

After departing BMU-2, cadets visited Amphibious Construction Battalion TWO. ACB-2 uses pontoon causeways, barge-mounted cranes and pontoon ferries to give amphibious forces the ability to quickly off-load the large quantities of troops and cargo needed to assure victory in conflict.

Next, it was on to ACU-4 which mission is to provide combat ready craft that fully meet operational tasking worldwide. Within the last 10 years, ACU4 Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) have been deployed throughout the world and taken part in all major amphibious operations. Recently LCAC were sent to the Caribbean to provide humanitarian assistance to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic after Hurricane George devastated the area.

After touring ACU-4 cadets were off to ACU-2 were they climbed aboard Landing Craft Utility (LCU) which are integral to the amphibious mission providing the means of heavy transportation between shipping and beach landing sites ashore. The LCUs are normally carried to various operating areas in the well decks of Navy amphibious ships.

For the last stop of the day, cadets traveled to Nauticus, the interactive science and technology center and homeport of Battleship Wisconsin (BB 64). Located on the second floor is The Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Accredited by the AAM, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum is an introduction of over 242 years of U.S. Naval history in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and is one of ten officially operated U.S. Navy museums reporting to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Upon exiting the museum CHS Cadets certainly enjoyed their time aboard the Battleship Wisconsin (BB 64). “Wisconsin was recommissioned on 22 October 1988, as part of President Ronald Reagan’s “600-ship Navy” upgraded with the most advanced weaponry available, including Harpoon and Tomahawk Missile capabilities. Wisconsin served in Operation Desert Storm from 15 January to 27 February 1991. This marked the last time that a United States battleship ever actively participated in a foreign war. Wisconsin earned five battle stars for her World War II service and one for the Korean War. The ship also received the Navy Unit Commendation for service during the first Gulf War.”

Cadets participating in the base orientation trip in no particular order: Brooke Johnson, Elizabeth Massengill, Grace Templeton, Hannah Collins, Heather Whitt, Jewel Macgregor, Julie Decaro, Kendall Chamberlain, Kyra Farrow, Larinda Henley, Laura Andrews, Madison Williams, Nicole Jacobson, Shanna Gray, Sydney Lilly, Nathaniel Adams, Skylar Altman, Jacob Amey, Travis Baxley, Adreyan Collins, Jaren Helton, Matthew Justice, Ethan Kemp, Trevor Mclain, Jonathan Newhouse, Johnny Pearson, Kameron Sauceman, Gabriel Stowe, Zachery Strauss, Gavin Taylor, Bradley Thacker, Andrew Villa, and Dakota Watkins.

Story by Clyde H. Shumate, Ed. S.,

Chief Warrant Officer USN (Ret), Senior Naval Science Instructor, Cherokee High School NJROTC

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