BY Cynthia Jones
PORT ANGELES — Tourists boarding the two minesweepers Saturday at T-Pier were greeted by Seaman Ernesto Flores, who wore a smile and a 12-gauge shotgun.
Throughout the ship, several seamen were armed as part of recent a step up in security measures.
The increased security is a result of the terrorist bombing of USS Cole last October in Aden, Yemen, according to Flores. The terrorist attack killed 17 sailors and wounded more than twice that number.
“They got extremely tight from what we’re used to,” said Flores of the new security measures.
But that didn’t phase 12-year-old Kelly Mortensen.
“As soon as I’m old enough, I’m going to try to go to the Naval Academy and get in here,” Mortensen said of the USS Chief.The full report appears in today’s editions of the Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Or click onto “Subscribe” to order your copy via U.S. mail.