Book Review: “Around the World with the US Navy”

July 23rd, 2006 by xformed

Around the World with the US Navy

After reading “No Higher Honor,” I found Brad Peniston had written another book, “Around the World with the US Navy.”

Published in 1999, the book is a travelog of just about every Navy community, short the SEABEES and the SEALS. Brad spent about 2 years covering the story, with a period in the summer of 1998 where he and his crew spend about 2 months observing the world of Navy units, traveling between Navy commands, ashore, afloat and in the air. The meat of the book are the statements made of the sailors and officers in a Navy that was seeing the shortages that came as a result of the rapid drawdowns when it was clear the Cold War had ended.

The beauty of this read is the straight forward, no nonsense descriptions of life in the Navy, with Brad’s added talent to paint a word picture of the living envirnment, physically and emotionally. from boot Seamen to senior admirals, Brad captured wonderfully illuminating insights, as well as the detail of life at sea, in the air, or under the waves.

I recognized several names of former ship and schoolmates, and found out some of the performance of Admiral Boorda’s Smart Ship Program, which I managed to sit in a meeting to get my command a seat at the table in the very beginnings of the USS YORKTOWN’s recreation.

Even with my interaction with some of the communities mentioned, which included the Special Boat Units and the VR Naval Air Logistics Operations (NALO) units, I gained a greater understanding of some of the non-Surface Warfare related communities.

Maybe it’s time for Book II of the series, with Brad and his photgraphers heading out again to sample the fleet in the wake of the major strikes conducted in support of OIF and OEF.

If you would like to get a detailed glimpse of what it’s like to be a sialor maintianing a carrier’s arresting gear, on being on a Visit Boarding & Search crew, or life beneatht he waves as you sit in the control room and dive the “boat” upon clearing the shallow water, or if you always wondered what a P-3C Orion crew did, thinking they were just there for the per diem check, this is the book for you.

From a historical perspective, it’s a documentary of the strains on the manpower of the Navy during some difficult years and worth hearing what real operators had to say about the work they did to keep things going.

Maybe you’ll find some of your old shipmates in there, too.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 at 9:45 pm and is filed under Book Reports, History, Military, Military History, Navy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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