About the Ship's Coat of Arms
In ancient times warriors used the Coat of Arms as a method of unit identity and as a means of showing the history of their family and battles that they have fought. GLADIATOR's crest has followed in the same traditions of yesteryear in the design of its crest.
The crest was designed in stages, first of which is the outer blue ring with gold rope. This has two meanings, first the blue and gold are the colors of standard Naval tradition and the gold continuous loop rope which signifies perfection in continuity and teamwork. This is followed by a bold red ring bearing the ships name, class and two stars. The color red is a symbol of committment and power and the two gold stars exemplify past battles of other U.S. Naval vessels which bore the name GLADIATOR.
The center of the crest uses symbols and wording to explain to others how things were in the past and how we feel about the future. The latin words "Momentum Consultum," meaning "Deliberate Urgency," is the way the ship will act in an actual minefield and "Victoria Indubitata," meaning "Certain Victory," is a metaphor for the ship's conviction to emerge triumphant from combat. The tridents and the net are symbols of both past and present, in the past the trident and net were used as weapons of ancient gladiators. Today the trident is a symbol of Naval education and sea power and the net is used to symbolize the sweepgear used by GLADIATOR when sweeping for mines. The wooden sword is a rudis, an ancient icon awarded to gladiators who continuously demonstrated feats of bravery and strength and no longer had to compete in the arena. The rudis is also raised in victory over a shattered mine, recognizing certain victory.
The center shield depicts the colors on the American flag, and denotes American patriotism and pride. The three red stripes recognize that the ship is the third U.S. ship to bear the name GLADIATOR. Finally the helmet, symbolizes a strong defense and the classic valor and courage displayed by gladiators in the arenas of old.
Mine Countermeasures Ships - MCM
Ships designed to clear mines from vital waterways.
In the early 1980s, the U.S. Navy began development of a new mine countermeasures (MCM) force, which included two new classes of ships and minesweeping helicopters. The vital importance of a state-of-the-art mine countermeasures force was strongly underscored in the Persian Gulf during the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, and in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991 when the Avenger (MCM 1) and Guardian (MCM 5) ships conducted MCM operations.
Avenger class ships are designed as mine hunter-killers capable of finding, classifying and destroying moored and bottom mines. The last three MCM ships were purchased in 1990, bringing the total to 14 fully deployable, oceangoing Avenger class ships.
These ships use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and a mine detonating device that can be released and detonated by remote control. They are also capable of conventional sweeping measures. The ships are of fiberglass sheathed, wooden hull construction. They are the first large mine countermeasures ships built in the United States in nearly three decades.
To learn more about the mine warfare visit the Commander Mine Warfare Command web site.