In unpacking and filling up our storage building I ran across this tag:
Brings back a lot of memories.
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is the USN’s largest training base on the East Coast. The Bas is about 40 square miles, most of that is water I think.
All Ships on the East Coast go to GITMO as it is ‘lovingly called’ after a period in the Yards (short for shipyards). Or if a ship is new. Gitmo is the home of the Training group that grades and judges whether a ship is sea worthy. It is called REFTRA (refresher training).
My first experience there was on the USS Independence. We were there for refresher training. Every morning the Inspectors would board the ship and we would get underway. All day was drills, sea trials. Simulated fires, man over board, explosions in the engine room. Always there were submarines (ours) running tests also and fake attacks.
It was a strenuous 2-3 weeks. During that time some nites and weekends the sailors also get liberty in GITMO. There is nothing to do onboard GITMO except go to the clubs and get a meal and drink. The weather is nice and the sailors get a chance to unwind and see some Gila Monsters.
Most men dreaded the place. GITMO is a despised name among sailors. ME? What I saw was families going to the exchange and commissary together. Living together while the tour of duty was considered SEA DUTY.
Every sailor had sea duty time and shore duty time. Of course sea duty means separation from wife and family, so I see a chance to spend a sea tour actually ashore with my family. Back aboard the ship, I told the old man I wanted to reenlist for my choice of duty, I wanted GITMO.
He laughed, are youserious? I said sure I will give the Navy 6 years more, if you will send me to GITMO.
He did, they did, and it was the best family time we had in our military life. We learned to bowl, square dance, snorkel and really fish. The boys had little league and moto cross racing. A wonderful family time.
We as a family laugh when the Candidate Obama kept saying I will close GITMO, we knew it was just a prison he was talking about closing not GITMO itself. It is too important to the USN to close. More later.
Thanks for coming this way.
By living on the Dreaded GITMO BAY, we learned that stories and fables can be wrong. For us it was a great place to live, to others it was a nasty word.
This is something like the pontiac Bonneville we took to GITMO. It is probably still there and running, by now it is a GITMOBILE!