Archives for October 2008

Mesabi Miner nears the Duluth ship canal

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The amount of daylight we will have today, 11 hours and 9 minutes, is about the time it takes for a thousand footer to come under the Lift Bridge, load about 64,000 tons of coal and return to the lake for the trip back down the chain of lakes. That’s about how long most trips here have been for the Mesabi Miner this season. It is due here just before sunrise and should be leaving just before the sun sets. The crew has a good chance at a daylight job in Duluth today. Above, it is approaching the Duluth ship canal on November 25, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-31-2008

Old-Timers meet new ship USS Freedom

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It was not hard for USS Freedom executive officer Commander Kris Doyle (second from left), to impress four Duluth old timers with her brand new ship on Wednesday. While winding up the tour on the deck of the ship (above), Wes Harkins, at left, retired, Fraser Shipyard, showed Doyle a picture of the USS Paducah, a ship Wes left Duluth on in 1940. To Doyle’s left, Dick Bibby, retired, M.A. Hanna Co. and World War 2 merchant marine, Commander “Gil” Porter, retired US Coast Guard and former Great Lakes pilot and at right, Davis Helberg, former Duluth Seaway Port Authority director all agreed it was a new Navy. They asked all the old questions, but the answers from Doyle were all new. As an example, she explained how the ship can do 50 mph without a rudder or propeller. Think Jet Ski at a much higher level. Photo taken on October 29, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-30-2008

USS Freedom cargo area

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The photo yesterday of the USS Freedom was taken from the front of the ship looking back. Above, the photo is taken from the back, looking forward into the airborne mission zone, often referred to as the hangar. It is one of several large open spaces that allow the crew to deploy a variety of assets called mission packages. The mine hunting and sub hunting packages are completed. There will also be a mission package for humanitarian rescue. Forty per cent of the inside space of the vessel is reconfigurable space, in other words, open space when they are not outfitted for a particular mission. The space above can hold two helicopters, with blades folded. These packages will be deployed around the world, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for a change in mission just by replacing packages. Photo taken on October 27, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-29-2008

USS Freedom brings out the big guns

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The USS Freedom arrived on Sunday afternoon and should be here until Thursday. The photo above was taken on Monday afternoon while standing on the pointy end of the ship as our guide, executive officer Kristy D. Doyle, first called it so we would understand. It is more formally the forecastle. Straight ahead is the ship’s 57 mm gun, its largest. It rotates and can also be used as an anti aircraft weapon. A missile launcher is at the other end of the ship; it holds 21 missiles. Photo taken on October 27, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-28-2008

Tug assist for USS Freedom to DECC dock

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The Navy had two tugs standing by when the USS Freedom arrived in Duluth on Sunday. Both were helpful as the ship approached the berth at the DECC head-on. Above, they asked the tug North Dakota to gently move up to the side of the ship so it could use the tug as a pivot as the ship rotated around the tug until it was lined up beside their berth at the DECC. In the picture, the USS Freedom is moving clockwise as the North Dakota maintained a stationary position. Photo taken on October 26, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-27-2008

The USS Freedom comes to Duluth

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The USS Freedom arrived Duluth on Sunday October 26th, 2008 at 12:38 in the afternoon. She is a fast, maneuverable vessel that will be used for mine, anti-submarine and surface warfare and for humanitarian relief. It can be reconfigured to provide for helicopter and boat launch and as well as variety of recovery operations. Designed by Lockheed Martin, she was constructed at Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin and was officially accepted by the Navy in Marinette, Wis., on Sept. 18th, 2008. She was commissioned in Milwaukee on November 8th, 2008 and was commanded by Cmdr. Donald D. Gabrielson of Hibbing.
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The photo above was taken while standing on the pointy end of the ship, known more formally as the forecastle. Straight ahead is the ship’s 57 mm gun, its largest. It rotates and can also be used as an anti aircraft weapon. A missile launcher is at the other end of the ship; it holds 21 missiles.
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Above, the photo is taken from the back deck of the ship, looking forward into the airborne mission zone, often referred to as the hanger. It is one of several large open spaces that allow the crew to deploy a variety of assets called mission packages. The mine hunting and submarine hunting packages were completed. A mission package for humanitarian rescue was added later. Forty per cent of the inside space of the vessel is reconfigurable open space when they are not outfitted for a particular mission. The space above can hold two helicopters, with blades folded. These packages will be deployed around the world, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for a change in mission just by replacing packages.
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Above, the pilot house. The room below allows operators to make use of a wide variety of new electronic navigation aids, including very high power video.
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USS Freedom launch

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The US Navy ship that will be commissioned as the USS Freedom in Milwaukee on November 8th is expected in Duluth today. While there are no public tours, the ship will be behind the DECC for several days. Above, the ship was side launched at Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. The 377 foot Navy ship will be joined in the harbor by three thousand footers coming to load coal, a smaller Canadian boat here for coal and the Mark Hannah, bringing a barge full of liquid calcium chloride to discharge at the Hallett Dock.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-26-2008