USS NEW YORK, At Sea (NNS) -- A film crew from Discovery Channel got underway with amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) Jan. 27 to document shipboard life and training evolutions for the network's TV series "Mighty Ships."
Discovery Channel has featured more than 30 different ships, from freighters to luxury liners, and is now embarked with New York while participating in Certification Exercise (CERTEX) and Bold Alligator 2012. The show will depict the working relationship between the Navy and Marine Corps services.
CERTEX is the final certification for deployment for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group. Bold Alligator 2012 is the largest naval amphibious exercise in the past 10 years.
"We wanted to show how two factions of the military work seamlessly together to train and prepare for deployment," said Chris Gargus, the film crew director of photography.
Gargus has been on several Navy vessels while filming for "Mighty Ships."
"The enormous complexity of these fascinating vehicles coming aboard such as the 'floating tanks' and the massive LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) and the noise they create, combined with the precision of the crew, that's what fits the category of Mighty Ships," said Gargus.
Even after being aboard the New York for nearly a week, it hasn't been easy for the film crew to adjust to a shipboard lifestyle, explained Gargus.
"It's overwhelming as a civilian coming on board a ship, trying to figure out how everything works, and who does what," said Mark Stevenson, director and writer for this episode. "Even with two camera crews, we can only be in two places at once. Having [Sailors] help us with that is critical because otherwise we would not be able to do it."
"Everyone has been very helpful, the efficiency of the ship's Sailors for making things happen for the film crew has been very impressive," continued Stevenson.
The film crew made its way through the ship's passageways and spaces, interviewing Sailors on topics ranging from flight deck operations to Visit Board Search and Seizure procedures.
"They asked me about the different pressures during evolutions pertaining to boatswains out at sea, and directing Sailors under some of the most dangerous conditions underway," said Boatswains Mate Chief Warrant Officer Keith Shaw. "We wanted Discovery to understand if we're not on our 'A' game one hundred percent of the time, there is a potential for loss of life; we stay ready so we don't have to get ready."
"This episode revolves on the integration of Sailors and Marines, and how the two groups work together to complete many different tasks aboard the ship while out to sea," said Gargus.
"We were told from the beginning there is a great rivalry between the two, everything from sports to everything else," said Gargus. "Everyone's got their jokes about each other. But I saw a Navy hand reach out and a Marine arm come up from a rope ladder hanging off the side of the ship and pull that man up, and at that moment, they're both part of the same brethren, performing the same action and looking out for each other."
New York is set to be featured in season six of "Mighty ships." The episode is slated to air in six to eight months when New York will be well into its maiden deployment scheduled for spring 2012.
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