The people that we met today were kind, curteous, and just plain wonderful to talk to and be with.
We had the opportunity to get on board the 563 foot USS Ponce today, it is only docked for 3 days and since we homeschool, it made it even better (no crowds). We didn't have to wait at all. (Extra special to be able to call my sweet friend Aleatha at the last minute and have her join us! - We homeschool real well together..she has two boys and knows what it is like to do life with boys,,its real comfortable to have someone in your life like that!)
USS PONCE is designated an LPD (Landing Platform Dock), Amphibious Transport Dock. It is the United States Navy’s custom for LPDs to be named after cities that take their names from explorers and developers of their countries. USS PONCE is the first United States Ship to be named after the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, which in turn is named in honor of the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon. Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the State of Florida and served as the first Governor of Puerto Rico. So you know we counted this trip as a history lesson!
USS PONCE’s insignia, and it is comprised of four major elements: a rampant lion signifying the high spiritedness of the Navy-Marine Corps team that serves on her and is the coat of arms of Juan Ponce de Leon which is a continuing reminder of our bond with the people of the namesake city; a trident, emblematic of U.S. Naval power and supremacy; an anchor chain, linking the ship’s name and its designator symbols; and the “commission pennant”, which is distinctive of a ship in active service and serves as the commanding officer’s personal pennant – representative from the days of knighthood and chivalry. (We're studying that right now!)
PONCE by the way is pronounced “PON-SAY” and it is an Amphibious Transport Dock. USS PONCE (LPD 15) is assigned to Commander, AMPHIBIOUS GROUP TWO as a unit of the Naval Surface Forces, United States Atlantic Fleet and is the 12th and last vessel of the AUSTIN class.
Her mission is to embark, transport, land and support United States Marine Corps and Navy elements by sea and air, and to conduct amphibious landings or raids to secure beach heads for further prosecution of operations ashore.