I was on the Tripoli during Desert Storm. The Tripoli stood tall above her sister ship, the New Orleans. (Hereafter referred to as, the "NO boat") I worked night check, where the majority of maintenance got done. Oh how I cursed the skipper of the Tripoli for holding GQ (General Quarters) drills during our sleeping hours. I would barely have been in the rack after working out and that all too familiar sound of the klaxon would blare over the 1MC. I just hated it! Why not hold some GQ drills at 0100 local? Sheesh, fair is fair, right? We have to be prepared at ANY given time to respond, right? Well, perhaps not.
A good example was after the Tripoli hit the mine, we stayed on station for about a week to continue our mission. We pulled into Al Jubayl to crossdeck onto the NO boat. So far, we had been warned not to touch anything in a certain area as that material had tested positive for chem/bio weapons. Scuttlebutt also had it that a Scud had landed in the bay. We ladies & gentlemen, here we are, right at the front! We had been able to place some phone calls home and even go to the local base exchange!
The night continued on, peaceful, as it darkened. As I had my crew moving stuff aboard the New Orleans, the SCUD alarms went off. I was thinking, hmm, this is interesting. Here I was, on the dock, vulnerable to EVERYTHING! I heard the Tripoli go to GQ. As the Tripoli was announcing GQ, I scrambled up the accomodation ladder and told my troops to get inside on the hangar deck. I looked around the NO boat and nobody was doing anything. I'm like, OK? Now what? We weren't officially part of the ship and we hadn't even been assigned GQ stations. Hell, we barely h