Naval petty officer Jed May serving on versatile warship in Western Pacific | SteamboatToday.com

Naval petty officer Jed May serving on versatile warship in Western Pacific

Chief Petty Officer Jed May of Steamboat Springs is currently serving on the USS Coronado LCS-4 (littoral combat ship) stationed in the Western Pacific Ocean. The ship receives helicopters, including unmanned aircraft, and is equipped for surface combat.

— U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Jed F. May of Steamboat Springs checked in from the Western Pacific Ocean Oct. 14, where he is serving aboard the USS Coronado LCS-4, a littoral combat ship.

"Big shout out to my family, friends," he wrote in an e-mail.

May enlisted in the Navy shortly after graduating from Steamboat Springs High School in 1997. His duties on the Coronado include recovering helicopters like the SH-60 Sierra Seahawk to the tri-hulled naval ship following missions.

"I just wanted to reach out to my hometown newspaper and send a few photos from the fleet back home," May wrote. I "have always appreciated Routt Count locals and their patriotism for this greatest nation."

When he last checked in with Steamboat Today in December 2011, May had just been assigned command of a 220-ton Navy landing craft based in Coronado, California. The primary mission of that boat was to land Marines and cargo on beaches. The group of landing craft his boat was assigned to was known as the "Surfriders."

Steamboat Today also reported in 2011 that May had earned three Marine Corps martial arts belts while training with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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May is the son of J. and Sarah May of North Routt County, and Renae and Robert Morel of Grand Junction. His late grandfather Bill May wrote newspaper columns about his pioneer roots and ranching traditions for the Steamboat Pilot.

The USS Coronado made its first deployment from Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 30 to Aug. 4, participating in what has been described as the world's largest international joint training exercise. The Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise involved 26 nations, more than 40 ships and submarines and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. An emphasis was placed on securing sea lanes.

The Coronado, with a pair of both gas engines and diesel engines, generates 83,000 horsepower and is capable of speeds of 40 knots. By comparison, the landing craft May previously oversaw had a top speed of 22 knots.

The Coronado is equipped with anti-ship missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, a 57mm weapons system, a 30mm weapons systems and a number of crew-served .50 caliber and M240 weapons stations.

"Have a fine navy day — Hoo-Yahhh!" May concluded.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1