SAN DIEGO - Thirteen members of the Hollywood entertainment industry received a close look at the Navy's most cutting-edge urface combatant during a tour of the USS Independence (LCS 2), March 23.
The tour, arranged as part of the Navy Office of Information West "Hollywood to the Navy" program, gave television and film writers, producers, and directors a chance to learn firsthand about the littoral combat ship's capabilities and mission profiles.
Led by USS Independence Commanding Officer Cmdr. Joe A. Gagliano, visitors toured the flight deck, hangar bay, bridge and combat information center aboard the ship. Gagliano explained the emerging role of the LCS class and how it fits in to the broader scope of the Navy's mission.
"Today's Navy must be prepared to operate far out at sea, as well as close to the coast in the littoral environment," Gagliano told the group. "This ship was built with the coastal mission in mind and the ability to engage with forces that may specialize in asymmetrical warfare."
Gagliano described the Independence's current role as the testing platform for the Remote Multi-Mission Mine Hunting Vehicle.
Tour attendees said the experience gave them valuable insight into the workings of today's surface Navy and opened their eyes to the future of the modern fleet.
"It was really great to see this ship and learn all of the various things it can do," said Matt Earl Beesly, a television producer and director. "There are certainly lots of ideas here that can be used in projects I'm working on."
Following the tour of the Independence, the group visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), homeported at Naval Air Station North Island. The visitors received a thorough tour of many of the ship's spaces and participated in an impromptu Q&A on board the flight deck with Capt. Paul C. Spedero Jr., USS Carl Vinson executive officer.
Ann Putney, an independent documentary filmmaker, said the tour helped to explain and clarify a number of technical issues and other general military topics that have sometimes come up during the course of her filmmaking career.
The Hollywood to the Navy program is designed to introduce members of the entertainment industry to various Navy platforms, missions and the important work of the men and women who are vital to the mission.