USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) Tour

Since 2010 the USS Milwaukee has been on the radar of many Wisconsinites. Today I had the opportunity to take a short tour - after the background check of course. This small ~389 foot ship, with an amazingly small crew of 50, has a whopping 113,710hp! Allowing it to get up and go to speeds of 45 knots (52 mph, 83 km/h) in less than 2.5 min, and a 13.5 foot draft, making it the smallest, fastest, and most versatile ships the USN has to offer.
alt Security was tight. Not only was the ship surrounded by a large fence, but continually watched by Milwaukee Police and Naval Personnel wielding everything from shotguns to GLOCKS, on land and water.
alt Whilst I waited for my tour to start, a large tent with a few replicas and some knowledgeable sailors kept me entertained.
alt I was surprised to learn that these small turrets, now seen on many of our ships, actually have a way to manual fire. Supposedly used as a backup. Being 6'3", I highly doubt I could even try to fit in there.
alt A story that must be told: Before boarding the ship, whilst derping around taking photos, a massive gust of wind took my awesome Sprecher baseball cap. One of our tour guides, a navy Petty Officer, lurched from the back of the group, full out sprinting towards my cap, which was flying though the wind at great speed, closer and closer to the waters edge. He saved it from ultimate doom (Lake Michigan) just in the nick of time! alt The ship has a 1.5x larger flight deck compared to others in our fleet, and through the garage-like door in the stern of the ship, was this large aircraft hanger, where two Seahawks could be stowed.
alt Below the hanger is a large bay opening to the water. This allows them to navigate boats right up next to the ship, with a lift from the surface of the water to the opening of the door. Oh, and I guess they currently had 12 sailors housed in that grey box in the background!
alt We have had a couple of very windy days this week, and even with massive steal pillar breaks and 5 lines tied to either end of the ship, you could definitely feel the sway. You can see the unique structure of the Milwaukee Art Museum in the background, which also makes an appearance in the ships coat of arms.
alt This is a BAE MK 110 57mm gun. This little guy brings a lot of punch with 200 rounds per minute! supposedly it also allows the gunner to choose, whilst in flight, if the round will explode before or after penetrating armor.
alt The personnel, security, guests, and team that put this tour together were the nicest of people, and I am so glad I got the opportunity, thanks!
alt Learn more about this awesome ship here!