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Off the coast of Libya, on board America's floating fortress

The USS Kearsarge carries 1,000 marines and boasts enough military hardware to invade a small country. Its aircraft are already in action over Libya, but aboard the giant assault ship, the biggest concern is spending enough time in the gym

Tom Kington
The Guardian
Friday 1 April 2011

At dawn, the PA crackles into life and a country and western tune is broadcast to all decks, followed by an announcement urging marines on board to "get their game on" and sign up for the basketball tournament being held in the cavernous hangar where mechanics are toiling over a half-aircraft, half-helicopter that has flown straight out of a science-fiction film.

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