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Okinawan Dignitaries Visit US Navy Vessel

By: JO3 Melody Scalfone

Date Posted: 1999-11-19

Eight distinguished Okinawan visitors toured USS Juneau (LPD 10) Nov. 14 while it was pierside at U.S. Naval Port Facility White Beach. Commander, Fleet Activities, Okinawa, sponsored the tour in conjunction with the annual White Beach Festival. For many, it was the first time they had ever been on a Navy ship.

The visitors were: Katsuren Town Mayor Shintoku Kurato, Deputy Mayor Takeshi Shinzato, Treasurer Matsuei Nakayone, Assembly Speaker

Hiroshi Sakihara; Okinawa Oceanographic Observation Center Commanding Officer Capt. Takahisa Hayashi; Castle Highlander President

Kiyoshi Nakamura; and Sub-Area Activity Executive Officer

Cmdr. Katsuyuki Nakamura; and Sub Area Activity Supporter's Association President

Dr. Tomoharu Nakagawa.

"You can see that the crew is very proud of their ship and likes to show it to people," said CFAO Capt. John Green.

The group toured the flight deck, well deck, bridge, galley, and other parts of the ship.

USS Juneau (LPD 10) is an Austin-Class Transport Dock ship. This class of ship is a combination of three other types of amphibious ships: the LSD (Dock Landing Ship), the APA (Attack Personnel Transport) and the LKA (Amphibious Cargo Ship). The features which these ships passed along to the LPD include the well deck and flight deck from the LSD, the troop carrying capacity of the APA, and the cargo handling and stowage capability of the LKA. In addition, USS Juneau is configured as a flagship to support an Amphibious Task Force Commander and Landing Force Commander. In an amphibious assault, Juneau would normally function as the Primary Control Ship (PCS) and be responsible for coordinating boat waves and vectoring landing craft to the beach.

The ship can carry large quantities of ammunition, cargo, and vehicles, including tanks. Juneau's various assault systems provide it with the flexibility to move large amounts of troops and cargo ashore by landing craft through the well deck, or by helicopter from the flight deck. The well deck can handle every type of Navy amphibious landing craft and Marine Corps assault vehicle. USS Juneau has LCU-1621 permanently embarked from Assault Craft Unit One. The LCU is a large landing craft capable of carrying three tanks. Juneauís well deck can also operate small raiding craft for special operations, as well as high speed LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion) for over-the-horizon assaults.

The 30 year-old USS Juneau are rapidly adapting to new challenges and steadfastly maintaining themselves as versatile maneuver warfare platforms for the next century.

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