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USS John P. Murtha crew set to help NASA in Artemis II moon capsule recovery

USS John P. Murtha set to assist NASA for Artemis II moon mission
USS John P. Murtha set to assist NASA for Artemis II moon mission 02:54

SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the ships now docked in San Francisco for Fleet Week has been involved in some missions that you could call out of this world.

Officer Avery Fries is only in her early 20s, but has already experienced so much aboard the USS John P. Murtha.

"I graduated in 2022 as a surface warfare officer. We go through a series of schools and I checked on board in October of last year, right before the ship's most recent deployment," said Officer Fries.

During that deployment, Officer Fries and the rest of the crew traveled across the Indo-Pacific region. They arrived back in the U.S. in July and soon after began training with NASA for its upcoming Artemis II crewed mission around the moon.

Officer Fries was one of the lucky crew members who got to participate in the training exercise, practicing how the Navy and NASA will work together to recover the Artemis II capsule, which will be carrying the mission's four astronauts when it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.

"We got to see everything from heilos recovering people in baskets during the day to watching the ship at sunset, at night hanging out with the capsule. And learning so much from the divers and the NASA crew was something I was so blessed to experience," said Officer Fries.

Now Officer Fries is taking on a new role. This Fleet Week she will be the one giving tours of the USS John P. Murtha to the thousands of civilians expected to board the ship.

"We have been planning for about a month to give the tours to the public. Being able to show everyone what we do and our craft, we have been at sea operational for about two years and being able to pull into port and show the public what we do and show off our main capability is what we're really excited about," said Officer Fries.

The tour includes a look at the ships inner workings from the flight deck where helicopters land to where the sailors and marines eat and sleep, to the well deck where amphibious vehicles can launch.

Officer Fries says she's excited to give people up close and personal access to the ship and is confident they'll love it as much as she does.

"I love my job. I would not want to be anywhere else. I would not want to be on any other ship. I am just super blessed to be able to experience it on the John. P. Murtha with the crew that we have," said Officer Fries.

 Tours of the USS John P Murtha will be offered through Monday. They are available to the public free of charge.

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