See what the living quarters for a Marine are like aboard the USS Essex
It’s cramped, but it could be worse080609-N-0483B-072 USS ESSEX, SATTAHIP, Thailand (June 9, 2008) - The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) performs a stern-gate marriage with Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1631, assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1 while back loading elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Essex is sitting off the coast of Thailand after completing Cobra Gold 2008 (CG08). CG08 is a Thai/U.S.-sponsored military exercise designed to enhance interoperability between joint U.S. forces and the combined forces of U.S., Thai, Singaporean, Japanese and Indonesian militaries. Essex is the lead ship of the only forward-deployed U.S. Expeditionary Strike Group and serves as the flagship for CTF 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force commander. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with a detachment in Sasebo, Japan. U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kari R. Bergman. (Released)
The living quarters onboard the Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) are tight, to say the least. Marines often live on beds stacked one on top of the other, and the small spaces they get to spend their free time are cramped, offering little to no privacy from each other. Of course, this is just another day in the life of any forward deployed United States Marine, and those on the 31st MEU aboard the U.S.S. Essex are no different.
Marines deployed on the MEU have very little room for activities while on a ship, with certain common area being the only space to really spread their legs a little and relax. Beds and storage areas are quite small and offer little space beyond what is needed to fit their gear, uniforms, and seabags. Despite all of that, Marines and sailors still find ways to kick back and enjoy themselves while underway, and make the best out of the situation. Often times, with so many personnel on board ship, day to day activities like training or holding formations may be somewhat difficult, but in no time at all, the Marines will be at the next port to continue whatever training evolution comes along next.
Learn more about it in the video below: