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CV 9 Essex

CV 9 Essex

CV 9 Essex

CV 9 Essex

CV 9 Essex

CV 9 Essex

GEN. Alfred M. Gray Jr., commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks during the keel-laying ceremony for the LHD-class amphibious assault ship Essex (LHD-2). J. St. Pe', president of Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc. and E.E. Shoults, program manager, Amphibious Warfare and Strategic Sea Lift Program, are pictured in the background

General Alfred M. Gray Jr., commandant of the Marine Corps, authenticates the keel plaque at the keel laying ceremony for the LHD-class amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD 2). Standing by during the signing are, from left: E.E. Shoults, program manager, Amphibious Warfare and Strategic Sea Lift Program; J St. Pe', president, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., General Gray; Captain M.G. Simpson, suprervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Pascagoula; and Joe Smith, welder

Workmen at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc. listen as General Alfred M. Gray Jr., commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks during keel laying ceremony for the LHD-class amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD 2). J St. Pe', president, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., and E.E. Shoults, program manager, Amphibious Warfare and Strategic Sea Lift Program, are pictured in the background

Commercial harbor tugs maneuver the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) toward a pier following its launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding

A bow view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) on the ways prior to its launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding

Commercial harbor tugs maneuver the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) toward a pier following its launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding

A port quarter view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) as it is moved toward a floating dry dock for launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding

A starboard quarter view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) as it is moved toward a floating dry dock for launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding

A starboard bow view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) as it is moved toward a floating dry dock for launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding

Commercial harbor tugs approach the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) to maneuver it toward a pier following its launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding

CHIEF of Naval Operations ADM Frank B. Kelso II speaks at the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

Jerry St. Pe, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding, speaks at the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney stands on the platform with his family during the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2). Cheney's wife, Lynne, standing at right, is the ship's sponsor. Their daughters Elizabeth, second from left, and Mary are Mrs. Cheney's maids of honor

RADM Alvin B. Koeneman, right, the Navy's chief of chaplains, and other platform guests render honors as the national anthem is played at the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney speaks at the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

Lynne Cheney, right, sponsor of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2), breaks a bottle of champagne across its bow to christen the ship. Looking on are, from left: Jerry St. Pe, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding; Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney; and Elizabeth and Mary Cheney, maids of honor

Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi speaks at the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III speaks at the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

Orion L. Hoch, chairman of the board, Litton, speaks at the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

Guests move to take their places for the christening of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2)

The guided missile cruisers, left to right, CAPE ST. GEORGE (CG-71), ANZIO (CG-68) and VICKSBURG (CG-69) undergo construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation. At right is the stern of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2), also under construction. Exact Date Shot Unknown

A port beam view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

An elevated port quarter view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

An elevated bow view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

A port bow view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX underway during sea trials

A port bow view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

An elevated starboard quarter view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

An elevated port bow view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

A bow view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

A starboard beam view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

A stern view of the amphibious assault ship ESSEX (LHD-2) underway during sea trials

Naval officers salute and civilian dignitaries stand at attention during the playing of the national anthem during the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

A color guard stands at attention as Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean O'Keefe arrives for the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

Bunting bedecks the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2) as it stands at the pier during its commissioning ceremony

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean O'Keefe speaks during the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

Crew members man the rails aboard the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2) as AV-8B Harrier aircraft conduct a flyover during the vessel's commissioning ceremony

Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney arrives for the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney shakes hands with Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean O'Keefer following O'Keefer's speech at the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean O'Keefer arrives for the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

The crowd gathered for the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2) listens to a speaker as the ship, decorated with bunting, stands moored to the pier

LT. GEN. Henry C. Stackpole III, deputy chief of staff for plans, policies and operations, speaks during the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean O'Keefer speaks during the commissioning ceremony of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2)

A starboard quarter view of the frigate USS FANNING (FF-1076) tied up at the Thirty-Second Street Naval Base prior to its sale and transfer to the Turkish navy. The amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2) is moored to the pier behind the FANNING

An aerial view of the amphibious assault ships USS TARAWA (LHA-1), left, and USS ESSEX (LHD-2), right moored at the shipyard. The decommissioned aircraft carrier RANGER (CV-61) is in a graving dock in the background

An aerial view of the amphibious assault ships USS TARAWA (LHA-1), right, and USS ESSEX (LHD-2), center, moored at the shipyard. The decommissioned aircraft carrier RANGER (CV-61) is in a graving dock in the background

An overhead view of the amphibious assault ships USS TARAWA (LHA-1), left, and the USS ESSEX (LHD-2), right, moored at the shipyard. The decommissioned aircraft carrier RANGER (CV-61) is in a graving dock in the upper right

An aerial view of the amphibious assault ships USS TARAWA (LHA-1), left, and USS ESSEX (LHD-2), right moored at the shipyard. The decommissioned aircraft carrier RANGER (CV-61) is in a graving dock in the background

An overhead view of the amphibious assault ships USS TARAWA (LHA-1), left, and the USS ESSEX (LHD-2), right, moored at the shipyard. The decommissioned aircraft carrier RANGER (CV-61) is in a graving dock in the upper right

An aerial view of the amphibious assault ships USS TARAWA (LHA-1), left, and USS ESSEX (LHD-2) moored at the shipyard. The decommissioned aircraft carrier RANGER (CV-61) is in a graving dock in the background

A view from the captain's chair on the bridge of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2) showing the flight deck image in the rear view mirror during Marine assault exercises off the beach of Camp Pendleton, California

Aviation Boatswain Mate (aircraft handling) First Class (ABH1) Ralph Johnson signals to a Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter he is clear for flight after the helo lifted off the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD-2) during Marine assault exercises off the beach of Camp Pendleton, Calif

A right rear view of an SNJ Texan aircraft, in 1944 USS ESSEX (CV-9) paint scheme, parked on the tarmac. The aircraft is taking part in Freedom Flight America; a flight of vintage aircraft en route to New York City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War Two

US Marine Corps Lance Corporal Ramon Gonzales applies camouflage to his face on board USS ESSEX (LPH 2) before participating in a beach assault. About 1,000 US Marines participated in an amphibious assault at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii

Two US Marines run for positions after disembarking a Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) from the USS ESSEX (LPH 9) (not shown) during RIMPAC '96 taking place at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii

CHIEF of Naval Operations, US Navy Admiral Jay L. Johnson, visits with San Diego Sailors on board the US Navys Amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD 2), during a recent visit to Naval Station San Diego. The CNO answered questions from Sailors ranging from the new enlisted evaluation system to pay issues regarding Basic Allowances for Quarters (BAQ) for the shipboard single 2nd class PETTY Officer

CHIEF of Naval Operations, US Navy Admiral Jay L. Johnson, visits with San Diego Sailors on board the US Navys Amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD 2), during a recent visit to Naval Station San Diego. The CNO answered questions from Sailors ranging from the new enlisted evaluation system to pay issues regarding Basic Allowances for Quarters (BAQ) for the shipboard single Second Class PETTY Officer

Fog blankets the pier as families wave goodbye to the US Navy WASP CLASS: AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP USS ESSEX (LHD 2) departs Naval Station San Diego, CA. The ESSEX is leaving for a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific

Families wave goodbye as the U.S. Navy WASP CLASS: AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP USS ESSEX (LHD 2) departs Naval Station San Diego. The ESSEX is leaving for a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific

A view of the starboard side of the US Navy WASP CLASS: AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP USS ESSEX (LHD 2) as it passes under the Coronado Bridge upon departure from Naval Station San Diego. The ESSEX is on its way to a six-month deployment in the Western Pacific

A bow on view of the U.S. Navy WASP CLASS: AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP USS ESSEX (LHD 2) as a tugboat pulls it away from the pier at Naval Station San Diego. The ESSEX is leaving for a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific

The amphibious assault ship USS ESSEX (LHD 2) dominates a beautiful San Diego sunset

Six US Marine CH-53Es conduct a long range Helo raid, from the USS BONHOMME RICHARD, USS RICHARD and the USS ESSEX (both ships not shown), fly in with Southern Attack Force Marines to defend the airfield. The ship in the background appears to be the Converted Raleigh Class, Command Ship, USS LE SALLE (AGF-3). While minefield breach assault continues below, during rehearsals for Kernel Blitz '99

Signalman SEAMAN (SN) Kevin Coward (left), from Chula Vista, California, Quartermaster 3rd Class Christopher Almeida, from Valrico, Florida, (center) and Quartermaster SEAMAN (QM) Jason Bradley, from Springport, Michigan, monitor navigational instruments

Aboard the anchored USS ESSEX (LHD 2) in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong, AIRMAN (AN) Christian Belanders (left), from Baltimore, Maryland and AN Cesarae Markland, from Sacramento, California, illuminate the deck area aboard the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship

Captain (CAPT) Tom Parker, Commanding Officer of USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3) (right), emphasizes the importance of safety to the crews of his ship, while CAPT Robert J. Gilman, Commanding Officer of the USS ESSEX (LHD 2) listens

USS ESSEX (LHD 2) sailor SEAMAN Kristen Hancock from Batson, Texas discusses communication procedures with USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3) crewman Aviation Structural Mechanic AIRMAN (AMN) Edwin Rivera from Vegabaja, Puerto Rico during damage control training in Repair Locker #3

Machinist's Mate Fireman (MM) Mark Garcia, from San Francisco, California (right) and Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (MM3) Josh Blackwood, 21, Konawa, Oklahoma, light the aft boiler on board the USS ESSEX (LHD 2) before getting underway from Sasebo, Japan

SEAMAN (SN) Israel Perez of El Paso, Texas, secures lines in the riggers loft aboard the landing helicopter dock ship USS ESSEX (LHD 2)

An AH-1W Sea Cobra Helicopter, part of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM-262), lands on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LPH 2). The Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit who spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

Two USMC CH-46 (Sea Knight) Cargo Helicopters, part of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM-262), take off from the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2). The Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit who spent two months participating with various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

Two USMC CH-46 (Sea Knight) Cargo Helicopters, part of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM-262), practice landing onto the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2). The Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit who spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China. China

USMC Marines practice fast rope exercises from a CH-46 (Sea Knight) helicopter parked on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2). The Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary (MEU) Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

Marines from the Light Armored Vehicle Platoon, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, the Ground Combat Element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Okinawa, Japan, drive off a Naval Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC). The LCAC brought the Marines ashore from USS ESSEX (LHD 2) in a training exercise preparing for the MEU's Special Operations Capable Qualification Exercise (SOCEX). The MEU is embarked aboard the Essex Amphibious Ready Group for SOCEX, which will certify the MEU's capability to execute any mission in its area of operation

A US Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), departs from the USS Essex (LHD 2), for a training mission. The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

US Navy sailors, perform a Foreign Object Debris (FOD) sweep before letting any aircraft arrive or depart from the USS Essex (LHD 2) flight deck. The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

A US Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), exits the well deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2) for a training mission. The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

Three US Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit's (MEU), waits to exit the rear of the USS Essex (LHD 2) for a training mission. The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

Boatswain Mate Second Class (BM2) Tom Krieger stationed onboard the USS Essex (LHD 2), helps an evacuee fill out the proper paperwork he needs. The evacuees were transported to the Essex from the "San Juan Embassy" (actually Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan) during the Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) for Special Operations Capable Exercise (SOCEX)

US Marines search an evacuee, making sure he doesn't carry any contraband, after getting transported to the USS Essex (LHD 2), from the "San Juan Embassy" (actually Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan) during the Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) for Special Operations Capable Exercise (SOCEX)

A USMC UH-1N Huey helicopter from Marine Helicopter Squadron Medium (HMM 262) makes a landing approach on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2), during the Special Operations Capable Exercise (SOCEX). The Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating with various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

A USMC CH-46 (Sea Knight) Helicopter, delivers a (simulated) wounded Marine to the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2). Marines practice Special Operations Capable Exercises (SOCEX) off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

A USMC CH-46E (Sea Knight) helicopter from Marine Helicopter Squadron Medium (HMM 262), come in for a landing on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2). Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), held Special Operations Capable Exercises (SOCEX) and spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

US Marines from Combat Cargo aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2), carry a (simulated) wounded Marine on a stretcher. The Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in Special Operations Capable Exercises (SOCEX) and various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

The USS Essex (LHD 2) sits docked at the White Beach port in Okinawa, Japan. While its crew gets some well-deserved liberty time after being on board for two weeks for the Amphibious Ready Group Exercise (ARGEX) and Special Operations Capable Exercise (SOCEX). The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

During Captain Thomas Parker's change of command for the USS Essex (LHD 2), Command MASTER CHIEF J.D. Cortez presents him with the Commissioning Pennant (and old Navy tradition) while in port at Sasebo, Japan. The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China. Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China. (USMC photo by Ryan T. LeDoux) (released)

A sister of the The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus laughingly bends her uniform regulations as US Navy Lieutenant Commander S. Douglas Smith, Chaplain, Amphibious Squadron 11, presents her a USS ESSEX ball cap on October 23rd, 2000. The nuns invited the Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) and USS ESSEX Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) to help clean up tons of construction equipment and debris left behind when a construction project at the hospital was halted for lack of funds. Though many didn't know what the project was for, approximately 200 Marines and Sailors volunteered to help. "It's being able to say we've done ...

Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines are given a tour of the USS Essex (LHD 2), flight deck by US NAVY Sailors while at port in Pohang, Korea. US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines are given a tour of the USS Essex (LHD 2), flight deck by US Navys ENSIGN (ENS), Mark Cole while at port in Pohang, Korea. US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines take a look at the US Marine Corps (AH-1), Cobra Helicopter on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2) while in port at Pohang, Korea. US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

US Navy ENSIGN (ENS) Mark Cole, introduces the Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines to the US Marines cleaning weapons on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LPD 2) while in port at Pohang, Korea. The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

US Marines from Battalion Landing Team (BLT) load into the rear of a US Marine CH-46 (Sea Knight) helicopter to go ashore for their mission during FOAL EAGLE 2000 exercise in Pohang, Korea. US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

US Marines from Battalion Landing Team (BLT) load into the rear of a US Marine CH-46 (Sea Knight) helicopter to be flown ashore for their mission in the FOAL EAGLE 2000 exercise in Pohang, Korea. US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China

A close up front view of a US Marine CH-46E (Sea Knight) helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM- 262), makes a landing approach on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2) during the FOAL EAGLE 2000 exercise off the coast of Pohang, Korea. The US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, China

US Marines practice close combat battle techniques aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2), during FOAL EAGLE 2000 exercise, while off the coast of Pohang, Korea. US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) spent two months participating in various training operations on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China