Thursday, October 01, 2009
Throughout the past several years, a number of sailors and marines considered the USS Nashville home. The ship became more than just a place to work; it evolved into their family, while they were out to sea. Chuck Mapes was stationed aboard the Nashville. "No matter where we were, no matter what we did, we stood together. It didn't matter what rank or rate you were, we were all part of the national team." After nearly four decades of working on security and humanitarian missions, the Nashville was decommissioned. This change brought together crew members from 1970 to 2009, who all had the same bittersweet feeling. The Navy says it decided to remove the Nashville from its fleet because of budget issues. This is just in time for the arrival of the new upgraded version of the Amphibious Transport Dock.
USS Nashville (LPD 13)"With the new LPD 17's coming on board, they're a much more capable platform than what we are but just their very expensive to maintain. The Nashville is very expensive to maintain," says Commander Brian Peterson, the Officer in Charge of the Nashville. Its a decision, that the sailors and marines understand but they say it's now up to them to uphold the spirit of the Nashville. "The ship's gone but the crew lives on," adds Larry Walker, who served aboard the Nashville. The Nashville will be moved to Philadelphia, where it will be docked part of the Navy Reserve Unit, which means if the Navy ever need her again, it would be ready.