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First Sea Lord Tours Makin Island

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080306-17
Release Date: 3/6/2008 4:08:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Webb, Pre-Commissioning Unit Makin Island Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- Adm. Jonathon Band, First Sea Lord of the British Royal Navy, toured the Pre-Commissioning ship Makin Island (LHD 8) Feb. 26 in order to get an overview of specific and collaborative equipment programs and identify parallels between U.S. and Royal Navy capabilities.

"Any time you can share ideas on training, operations and equipment with your allies, it can only strengthen your ability to operate together," said Cmdr. Scott Fish, Makin Island's air boss who accompanied the ship's prospective commanding officer, Capt. Bob Kopas, in leading Band and five other Royal Navy officers on the tour.

During the tour, the group viewed construction progress in several areas throughout including the combat information center, tactical air control center, helicopter direction center, landing force operations center, primary flight deck control and the bridge.

Vice Adm. Trevor Soar, a senior British naval officer accompanying Band, said he was impressed by the professionalism and commitment of all the personnel he met, noting they were attempting to meet a tight deadline to bring Makin Island into active service.

"The complexity and scale of the work being undertaken highlights the need to retain skilled personnel in a large variety of different trade areas," Soar said. "Furthermore, given the scale of the destruction caused by Katrina, the standard and speed of the work completed to date was most impressive."

Makin Island is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in Nov. 2008 and will depart for San Diego in 2009 where the ship will be homeported.

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnsp/.



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