Friday, July 21, 2023


 I was reading a book about life at sea and then cast back to the very old days. One would think it was hard to be alone on a ship at sea but so not the case. What I was reading had to do with a young officer leaning on the flag plotting table and I was suddenly carried back to my first ship, the flagship sans admiral and staff. The staff spaces were always empty. There was an entire bridge below the working ship's bridge that never had anyone there. Same thing for flag plot. It was always empty. We had one man, the Forward Headquarters Element known as FHE who was usually an Air Force Colonel from Central Command based in Florida. One very very very rarely saw him shuttling down the passageway in his West Point gray bathrobe. Yeah, his cabin was roughly equivalent to the Captain's or the Admiral's but everything worked. In over a year that guy never once complained about live steam coming out of his shower or lack of air conditioning. He and the CO dined together in their own mess. I don't think the Admiral ever once spent a whole night aboard. We'd be in OPAREA HOTEL at 0800 and he and his treasured staff would fly aboard and disembark from the real Desert Duck and then we'd be in the same corner of OPAREA HOTEL at 1530 and he and his treasured staff would fly back to their very nice houses in Bahrain.

I had a senior peer who was CHENG on the ship when it was the flagship for 6th Fleet in the Med. He told me his stateroom was just off the lower vehicle deck and yeah, I knew what he was talking about but back when it was my ship that space was a spare parts room for the M Division.

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