San Pedro, Los Angeles Port – Navy Days 2014: August 10th, 2014 was a remarkable day for two young Cub Scouts from El Monte Troop 551, who made an unofficial tour, and had an opportunity to explore the USS Spruance (US DDG 111), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, which was docked in the Port of Los Angeles for Navy Days 2014. Before the tour started the Cubs Bear Degas and Webelos Roman had the opportunity to be apart of the Science, Technology, Electronics and Math Expo. On the S.T.E.M Expo tour portion of the port visit, Degas and Roman visited 12 STEM stations where Navy Sea Cadet spoke and showed videos about positions of the ship and how STEM can help their future. The Cubs spent spent 5-10 minutes in front of each of the 12 STEM messaging booths. The Cubs also watched detailed videos of the Navy’s assets in action, missile launch, Helos landings, hoover crafts operating. Every 5-10 minutes, a whistle will sound and all groups will move down the line to the next STEM booth and a new message. The Cubs left the building with an understanding of the importance of a STEM education stay in school, study hard and that they should study S.T.E.M subjects in school to be better prepared to enter this ever changing world and compete in it. At the end of the STEM and Ship tour each kid received a STEM Reference Hand book.
LTJG Michael Coppola provided a detailed guided tour of the USS Spruance (US DDG 111) and made it an astonishing experience and one that the Cubs will not forget. They were given a tour of the deck where the .50 caliber machine guns are mounted and used to thwart small craft attacks. They were shown the missile ports where Tomahawks and Cruise missiles are launched from. LTJG Coppola explained the gun system for the vessel and allowed us to tour two of the many passageways that run on and below the ship. The boys particularly liked the radar guided gun systems mounted near the bow of the vessel.
The overall experience left quite an impression on the boys and gave them an insight into today’s modern Navy.