One of the six destroyers equipped with the Aegis Combat System, Atago, came into Matsuyama harbor, my hometown. An acquaintance who works in the defense association, which cares for veterans, invited me to the private view of the destroyer prior to the public display. I asked several questions to the crew who guided us in the vessel and his answers were all interesting.
I've thought that it's the fundamental structure for every ship that the broadside around the ship is open to outside. I've seen on TV programs that cruise passengers jog or are lying on deckchairs on the broadside. In the case of the recent destroyers, however, the broadside is closed and I've assumed that it's for the prevention of the sea water from coming into the ship. I knew it was wrong today. When the situation reached combat, the outside of the destroyer seems to become like in a microwave oven due to the radar waves. It is harmful for human beings and the crew are supposed to stay in the cabins. The arms set outside are all remote-controlled from the CIC, the Combat Information Center. Searching and detecting the enemies by the naked eye seemingly has already become the past way of fighting.
I joined the welcoming party held in the evening. My seat was adjacent to the captain's. The other side was the chief engineer. I was fairly tense, but enjoyed talking with them.
broadside (新聞などの) 痛烈な批判; (軍艦の) 一斉砲撃; 船べり
reach a point/level/stage 程度［水準，段階］に達する
chief engineer 機関長
tense 〈状況・雰囲気などが〉緊迫した, 張りつめた;〈人・表情などが〉緊張した, 張りつめた