Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reporter Travels the World's Seas with U.S. Navy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reporter Travels the World's Seas with U.S. Navy

Article excerpt

Title: Around The World With The U.S. Navy: A Reporter's Travels Author: Bradley Peniston Data: Naval Institute Press, 223 pages, $25.95

Review by Bill Roach

Circumnavigating the world has been a goal of many old sailors. When someone did it, it earned instant recognition. Even today, it still represents a difficult task as witness the recent attempt to circle the globe solo in a balloon.

Bradley Peniston, a Navy Times reporter, circled the globe to experience the many and varied assignments for U.S. Navy ships and crews as they carry the flag into situations unthought of as recently as a decade ago.

During a period of three months -- June, July and August of 1998 -- Peniston traveled by military transportation to 59 destinations, most at sea and several in foreign lands. He was a hitchhiker, with the Navy's permission.

In this book, he has given a firsthand account of the many missions and ships and planes, which the Navy uses to fulfill its role today. And all of the accounts are in the words and actions of a variety of Navy people, from skippers to seamen. Thanks to this technique, we are there. We can experience the difficult and dangerous tasks as well as the routine but essential jobs that keep our ships afloat.

The author opens with the frigate USS Halyburton in the Baltic Sea and a demonstration boarding operation searching for contraband in a foreign vessel. Peniston called it "an archetypal mission for the Navy's frigate sailors in 1998." And he recounts a similar operation -- but for real -- off Bahrain in August of that year.

Carrier operations are carefully described, including the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf, the USS Independence west of Hawaii, and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Adriatic.

He flew in a P3 Orion -- such as the planes that routinely fly from NAS Jacksonville on anti-submarine and drug-interdiction missions -- over Bosnia, another above the Arctic Ocean and one over the Black Sea. …

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