Sunday, June 4, 2017

USS Independence Headed For Brownsville Home

On a wooden dock near a flock of brown pelicans, members of the Texas Game Wardens’ Marine Tactical Operations Group went over the plans and details of a joint-mission to bring the decommissioned USS Independence safely to rest at the Port of Brownsville.

The mission took several hours as several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies worked together to keep curious boaters, tour vessels and potential threats away from the tugboat group as it worked to bring the massive Forrestal-class aircraft carrier through the ship channel.

With positions around the Independence assigned, the outboard engines on the Game Wardens’ SAFE boat clicked into gear outside the Coast Guard station.

“Coming up!” Captain Luis Sosa shouted as the bow of the boat raised and sped off toward the Gulf of Mexico for the four-mile trip to meet the Independence at sea, where the escort mission was to begin.

The purpose of the security and safety perimeter was to ensure the safety of spectators and, ultimately, the integrity of the ship channel. Sosa explained the “trickle down” effect a closed ship channel would have if it were closed.


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