Vice Chairman of the House Defense Approriations Subcommittee visits USS America
SAN DIEGO – Congresswoman Kay Granger (Rep) for Texas’ 12th congressional district, along with three congressional delegation staff members toured the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) and met with Sailors from the Texas area March 30.
On her first visit to an amphibious ship, Capt. Michael W. Baze, the ship’s commanding officer, guided Granger, on a tour of the ship’s hangar bay, flight deck, mess decks, medical facilities and brief her about the ship’s capabilities.
As the first woman to ever serve on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Granger was very impressed with the Navy’s newest amphibious-class assault ship.
“Oh, it’s wonderful,” said Granger. “This is exactly what we wanted it (the ship) to be.”
Granger also got the chance to sit down with some of the Sailors from Texas for lunch and conversation. Chief Boatswain’s Mate Christopher Tunal, a Midland, Texas native, was very appreciative that she took time out of her schedule to meet with Sailors.
“She was really nice and very, very interested in the ship,” said Tunal. “ She asked about the various things that I am in charge of, stated that she is very supportive what we do, and if there is anything she can do to help, not hesitate to contact her.”
Granger was thoroughly impressed with the personnel on board and the spirit that they displayed throughout her visit.
“The Sailors I’ve met here are the best in the world,” said Granger. “What great attitudes. That is what I’ve been so impressed with. They have such optimism and really like what they’re doing … no, they love what they’re doing. That makes all the difference in the world.”
USS America is the first in her class of aviation-centric amphibious assault ships the Navy is unveiling. America provides forward presence and power projection as an integral part of Joint Interagency and Multinational Maritime Expeditionary Forces.