|IT'S NOT HARD TO GET LOST ABOARD GIANT CARRIER RANGER|
Scheduled for Far East Operations
The Ranger is modern in every respect. Hundreds of miles of electrical cable are used to connect the thousands of electronic devices aboard. The entire length and width of her giant hull is completely air conditioned.
|Get lost aboard a ship? It's easy if you're aboard the aircraft carrier Ranger, one of the largest and most powerful warships afloat.
A sailor escorting a Stars and Stripes reporter-photographer team on a tour of the giant ship promptly got lost in a part of the Ranger he had never seen before.
The 1,046-foot long, 252-foot wide Ranger is divided into 2,000 compartments where her crew of 3,500 live and work.
Each compartment is actually a room, and the Ranger has more rooms than the world's largest hotel. They vary in size from mammoth working spaces to small storerooms and living quarters.
The newcomer aboard is faced with what seems the ultimate in confusion. Boarding the Ranger he finds himself confronted by a maze of companion ways, hatches, ladders and compartments.
Each compartment is labeled with a lengthy designation consisting of numbers and letters.
These are the road signs of the ship. Once a sailor learns what the numbers and letters stand for he is able to read the maps on each of the ship's decks.
But The Ranger is so vast that few of the sailors aboard know the entire ship. Even sailors who have been in the ship's company on the giant vessel for months often become confused while in unfamiliar areas.
In order for a sailor to make his way from his living or working compartment to the ship's gym, library, one of the snack bars or some other recreation area he may have to travel up or down several decks and through a quarter-mile or so of the steel passageways that are the streets of the floating city.
The Ranger may be big and confusing but her crew has few complaints. As one sailor put it: "What other ship has escalators air conditioning and foam rubber mattresses?"