BZ's SF Fleetweek '10 - Parade of Ships

Photo Gallery

The parade of ships officially kicks off the Fleetweek show as various U.S. and Canadian Navy, Coast Guard, and veteran ships sailed into San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge. Had a super angle on that this year, as I was on the Bay with the USCGC Sockeye!
- Bernard Zee

Part of the Fleetweek activities and open to ship tours, the USS Makin Island arrived early as part of the Emergency Prepardness showcase and did not participate in the parade of ships.

USS Makin Island (LHD-8) is a Wasp class amphibious assault ship. It can carry and deploy AV-8 Harriers, helicopters, landing craft, amphibious vehicles, and over 1000 Marines. On deck on the far left, can be seen the newly introduced AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom, easily distinguishable by their 4 bladed rotors.

The USS Pinckney (DDG 91) leads off the parade of ships. Pictured here with a spectacular water display by the San Fancisco fireboat. BTW, it's not colored water - just the way the water droplets are refracting the sunlight!

An impressive sight, the Pinckney is a very capable Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

Boom! As they past by the Yatch Club, the Marines shot off a welcoming canon blast as a salute!

Sailors 'manning the rails' on the Pinckney.

Even though classed as a destroyer, the ship is even larger and more heavily armed than previous guided missile cruisers!

The ship is huge (for a destroyer) at 510ft long, 9200 tons, and carries over 90 missiles.

The ship was escorted by a few of these Navy SeaArk patrol boats, which provided security and persuaded other boats to keep their distance with their .50 cal and .30 cal machineguns.

The Pinckney has the advanced Aegis combat system, which can target anti-ship, aircraft, and even ballistic missiles!

Fireboat watershow and Alcatraz.

Stars and Stripes flying proudly, the Pinchkney uses the Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-ID 3D phased array radar for search and fire control. Being a phased array, there are no moving or rotating parts.

This shows one of the two 20mm phalanx CIWS the ship carries.

The hangers in the back house 2 SH-60 LAMPS 3 helicopters.

USS Pioneer (MCM-9) is an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship homeported in San Diego.

Since its primary purpose is a minesweeper, it only carries a few machine guns for security.

It does have all sorts of high tech mine clearing gear for detecting and neutralizing those nasty mines!

In order to have a low magnetic signature (for anti-mine purposes), the hull is constructed of wood with an external coat of glass reinforced plastic. It also has non-magnetic diesel engines.

HMCS Brandon (MM 710) is a Canadian coastal defence ship.

The ship is homeported at CFB Esquimalt.

Signaling (I believe), to the assembled dignitaries at the Yatch Club.

The craft has some limited mine sweeping capabilities, but its main mission is coastal surveillance, patrol, survey, and training.

HMCS Whitehorse (MM 705) is the same type vessel from Canada.

Like its sister ship, it has one 40mm 60Mk 5C Bofors cannon, and a pair of .50 cal machine guns.

Next up is the US Coast Guard Cutter Active (WMEC-618).

The Active is a USCG medium endurance cutter, which helps out with law enforcement and search and rescue operations.

It is 210 ft long, displaces 1000 tons, and draws 10 ft of water.

Armament is on the light side, with a single 25mm gun and a pair of 0.50 cal machine guns.

Active has a crew of 12 officers, and 63 enlisted, with an operating range of 2,200 miles, and 30 days.

The flight deck can accomodate one HH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

USS Curts (FFG 38) is the twenty-ninth ship of the Oliver Hazrd Perry class of guided missile frigates.

The ship saw action during Operation Desert Storm, where it captured the Quarh Island and the Iraqi garrision of 51 soilders there, sank an Iraqi minelayer, and destroyed 2 mines.

This class of frigates were designed primarily as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare. Absent though, is the Mk 13 single-arm launcher (for the Harpoon and Standard anti-ship/air missile). The launcher was removed with the retirement of the SM-1 missile in 2003. Kind of odd to be a missile frigate without the missiles! :-)

The Curts still has the OTO Melara 76mm naval gun, and a pair of triple tube torpedo launchers.

A Vulcan Phalanx CIWS provides for point defense.

The Curts bridge signaling to the shore.

The Coast Guard MSST boat provides security escort.

USS Curts carries 2 SH-60 LAMPS III helicopters, which greatly increases its capabilities.

The Curts is currently based out of San Diego, CA.

USS Chief (MCM 14) is another Avenger class minesweeper.

Like some of the other ships that day, the Chief is also based out of San Diego.

Beautiful calm morning on the bay. Seas were smooth - hardly any ripples at all!

A perennial at Fleetweek, the Jeremiah O'Brien is one of the last of the Liberty ships. There are only 2 left operational from an original 2751 built during WWII.

Liberty ships are a case study in successful mass manufacturing design and construction techniques. At peak production, 3 new liberty ships were being completed every day!

Early Liberty ships suffered from the grade of steel used - which became brittle and caused hull fractures from being subjected to stress and cold temperatures. A few of the ships broke in half without warning because of that problem.

No fear of that happening with the O'Brien though. Even with a full load of passengers on her bay cruise, the ship is not weighted down at all!

It's sitting so high in the water that the propeller is not even fully submerged!

The O'Brien is usually open for tours at the pier, and only make it out on the Bay for special occasions - like Fleetweek!

Bringing up the very end of the parade of ships, is the Vietnam era gun boat Liberty PTF-26.

The Liberty is the last of the Patrol Torpedo Fast (PTF) boats built, and stationed in DaNang, Vietnam.

The boat had a wicked diesel exhaust note, and I would have loved to hear it with the throttles opened up! The design speed was a scorching 40 knots.

Seen here is the 40mm stern gun, and a .50 cal forward gun. The Liberty is currently homeported in Sacramento, CA.

BZ SF Fleetweek 2010 Gallery Index