November 19, 2002
The Norfolk-based amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) left port on 12 November, to support the war on terrorism as a floating headquarters off the coast of Djibouti. The Mount Whitney is commanded by Capt. David Prothero and has a complement of approximately 560 officers and enlisted personnel, as well as a headquarters element of about 400 troops from the 2nd Marine Disivion (Camp LeJeune). Commander, 2nd Fleet will also embark a contingent of 48 staff personnel aboard USS Mount Whitney, in support of the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) commander.
It is rare for the Mount Whitney to make transatlantic trips. Normally, it serves as the floating home to the U.S. 2nd Fleet, basically as a training command that prepares carrier battle groups for deployment. The Navy considers the 636-foot, 18,646-ton the most sophisticated command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence (C4I) ship ever commissioned.
The Mount Whitney will probably take at least two weeks to reach it's station, crossing the Atlantic and traveling through the Mediterranean Sea. - Adam Geibel
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