Landing the Big One

Landing the Big One

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Aboard the USS Firebolt in the NAG

Nice article from the Virginian Pilot about the patrols off Iraq here:
...the most powerful weapon aboard the Firebolt is something that shows up on Christmas lists: an MP3 player.

The hand-held black box – essentially an up-armored iPod – attached to the deck plays digital recordings of about 100 simple nautical commands in several tongues.

It has proved a cheap, valuable weapon in a war where cultures and language collide, and where translators are in short supply when ships, friendly or otherwise, are encountered at sea.

The hand-held black box on the deck of the coastal patrol boat Firebolt is essentially a heavy duty, military-grade iPod.

“It’s a great tool, because the language barrier is pretty difficult to bridge,” said Lt. Marisa McClure, the ship’s commanding officer...

...The Firebolt and its 32-sailor crew, based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, is part of a fleet of coalition ships patrolling the northern Persian Gulf around Iraq’s two major oil platforms...
More on Firebolt here

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