On-board the USS Carl Vinson
It was like a dream come true for a kid who dreamed of boarding an air craft carrier filled with high-grade military war planes. And it sure was when I boarded the USS Carl Vinson this evening.
This was not the first time that I received an invitation from the US Embassy to attend a special occasion. The first one was when US Ambassador Harry Thomas invited a select few bloggers to a small afternoon cocktails in his office veranda to celebrate the internet freedom day. After the first invitation, receiving a second one was really unexpected. I only received the invitation after I got back from my trip to Ilocos last week which was the reason why I almost missed to make my confirmation.
Just like the last time, I left work earlier than usual and tried to grab a taxi to Mall of Asia’s water taxi dock. It was around 4:30 when I left work and I asked the driver to speed up since I don’t want to be late on my appointment. The luck was on me, there wasn’t too much traffic along EDSA and I was able to arrive 15~ minutes early. From the guest holding area, I met my fellow bloggers Karla, Hannah and Vince.
It wasn’t long enough before they started boarding us in our ferry. The ship left the dock just before the sun started setting behind the horizons of Manila Bay. Looking far into the horizon was the USS Carl Vinson waiting for us. Slowly, our ferry approached the gigantic boat as it started to get drowned by the beautiful Manila Bay sunset.
When we arrived, the second floor was already filled with people who arrived ahead of us. A lot of them are in suits and in white military uniforms. The Ambassador was there to give speech and highlight the importance of strengthening the diplomatic bond between US and RP. After the short series of speeches, the host announced that the flight deck will be opened for guests who wished to see the aircrafts. Of course, we did not miss the opportunity and we immediately took the (aircraft) elevator going to the flight deck right after we finished our dinner.
The flight deck, as expected, is filled with aircrafts and war planes unknown to noobs like me. I may have seen most of them in movies but that was the only time that I saw them up close, and for real. The planes doesn’t look too big but they look modern.
The last plane photo is a little weird though. The plane has this big dish on top of it. Since I was curious what the dish is for, I asked one of the navy officers guarding the flight deck. According to him, the dish like object on top of the plane is a radar. I didn’t ask further. I assumed that this plane is used for special tactical operations.
Anyway, to end everything, the whole experience will go to my list of unforgettables. The experience itself of boarding an aircraft carrier and seeing a war plane up close already crossed off two things from my bucket list. Thanks to Kuya Jay and to our friends at the US Embassy for inviting me to board the USS Carl Vinson. To be invited is already an honor for me.