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USS Bataan arrives at Thessaloniki

06 June 2009 / 10:06:00  GRReporter
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USS Bataan, one of the biggest aircraft-carriers in the world, arrived at Thessaloniki where it is going to stay for a couple of days while collaborative Greek- American naval practices are taking place. It is the biggest of the three landing aircraft-carriers, part of the American armaments. The second biggest craft is also about to arrive at Thessaloniki shortly. USS Bataan’s captain says it is an “instrument of peace”, since it hosts on board 4 fully-equipped operation rooms, 22 intensive reanimation beds and 600 hospital rooms.

The impressive vessel is 844 meters long and 106 meters wide, with a 267 meters long under-water part. It can hold 30 airplanes and 3 landing ships and has a storage capacity of 40 500 tons. On board are 1200 sailors and 1400 landing troopers, comprising 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit of the American army. This type of ships are accustomed for general assistance- loading, unloading, transporting, sheltering, healing and training- to the US landing troops, using military machines on land, air and water, helicopters and military cutters.

USS Bataan has two machine departments using steam-engines with the cumulative power of 70 000 hp. The craft moves with a speed of more than 20 knots. It became part of the American army on September 20, 1997, and was named in memory of the heroic defense of Bataan peninsula in the Philippines by the American and Philippine’s soldiers during the beginning of World War II.  

The assault ship left USA on May 12 and Greece is its first stop.

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