Lost Coast Outpost readers, the suspicious bunch that they’ve been known to be, write in to ask why there is a hulking military ship currently casting its shadow on Eureka’s Schneider Dock. Hmm!
Well, if you were hoping for martial law on Humboldt Bay, you’ll be greatly disappointed. Like previous Naval visitors, The USS Champion is just making a quick refueling pitstop on its voyage from San Diego on up to Portland for the 2015 Rose Festival and Fleet Week festivities. Quick gas and go. Remain calm, everyone.
After some radioing back and forth, LoCO was graciously granted escorted access onto the dock allowing us to get close enough to snap a few shots. A few crew members were returning from a supply-gathering wander into town. Others busied themselves repainting the decks.
Launched in 1989, the USS Champion is utilized by the US Navy as a mine countermeasures ship. Military history website Wikipedia reminds us that Champion aided in the evacuation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo during the Kosovo War back in 1999.
If you’d like some Champion stats, please allow LoCO to copy and paste a few for you below:
•Ordered: December 23, 1983
•Laid down: June 28, 1984
•Launched: April 15, 1989
•Commissioned: February 8, 1991
•Homeport: Naval Station San Diego
•Class and type: Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship
•Displacement: 1,367 tons (1,390 t)
•Length: 224 ft (68m)
•Beam: 39 ft (12m)
•Draught: 15 ft (4.6m)
•Propulsion: 4 Isotta Fraschini diesels
•Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)