'Amphibious assault ship:' WPTV tours USS Bataan at Fleet Week Miami

Ship, sailors spend week at PortMiami after overseas deployment
Posted at 6:19 AM, May 08, 2024

MIAMI — Miami Fleet Week is full steam ahead, and one of the biggest ships on display at PortMiami is the USS Bataan.

This ship is capable of launching marines into action. But it takes a crew of hundreds of Navy sailors to make that happen.

From the view above to walking into the USS Bataan, you're immediately awestruck by its size. It's the length of almost three football fields with a crew of almost 2,000 sailors and marines.

"Explain the use of this type of ship in today's Navy," WPTV anchor and Navy veteran Mike Trim asked Lt. Karina Martinez.

"This is an amphibious assault ship," Martinez answered. "So we're mainly for humanitarian assistance. We actually just came from a deployment."

It was a deployment that included positioning in the Mediterranean Sea after the Israel-Hamas war started. Helicopters flown by Marines are on the flight deck. But Trim wanted to show you the blue-collar, jack-of-all-trades of the ship: the boatswain's mate.

"How proud are you of your job you do on this ship?" Trim asked the boatswain's mate Cody Senters.

"I love everything I do about being a boatswain's mate," Senters said. "It's one of the oldest rates on board in the Navy."


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Senters showed off what he does with the marine craft.

"The communication of the craft approaching or debarking the well deck itself, we ensure that the water levels are appropriate," Senters said.

Walking through the decks of the Bataan, you see how versatile this ship is. The hangar bay is where the Marines store a lot of their vehicles and equipment.

"A lot of these vehicles when it comes to, hey, we got to take these onto the shore," Senters said.

This week, it's hitting the shore in a different way at Miami Fleet Week. The sailors are ready to see South Florida for a week of fun after protecting America's interests throughout the world.