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CVN 68 Nimitz


USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier in the United States Navy, the lead ship of her class. She is one of the largest warships in the world.

The keel of Nimitz was laid down 22 June 1968 by Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, and she was commissioned 3 May 1975 by President Gerald Ford. The ship was named for Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who commanded the Pacific fleet in World War II. Currently, it is commanded by Captain Ted N. Branch.

Nimitz first deployed to the Mediterranean, departing 7 July 1976, in company with the cruisers South Carolina and California. This was the first time in ten years that the US had deployed nuclear-powered ships in the Mediterranean. The cruise was uneventful, and Nimitz returned to Norfolk, Virginia 7 February 1977. A second Mediterranean cruise 1977–1978 was similarly quiet, but on the third cruise, which began 10 September 1979, Nimitz was the launchpad for Operation Evening Light, the attempt to rescue the US Embassy workers being held hostage in Tehran, Iran. The mission was aborted when helicopters crashed at a rendezvous point in the Iranian desert. The ship finally returned home 26 May 1980.

In the following year, one of Nimitz's EA-6B Prowlers crash-landed on her flight deck, killing 14 crewmen and injuring 45 others.

In the Gulf of Sidra incident (1981), while conducting a freedom of navigation exercise in the Gulf of Sidra near what Libya had proclaimed as the "line of death", two aircraft (F-14As) of Nimitz's VF-41 were fired on by Libyan pilots, but they returned fire and shot down both Libyans.

In 1987, Nimitz changed home ports to Bremerton, Washington. She left from there on 25 February 1991 to relieve Ranger in Operation Desert Storm, returning herself on 24 August 1991. She deployed again to the Gulf for several months in 1993, relieving Kitty Hawk during Operation Southern Watch. In March 1996, she was deployed to patrol the waters off Taiwan amid missile tests by the PRC in the area, becoming the first U.S. warship to pass though the Taiwan Strait since 1976.

On 1 September 1997, Nimitz began an around-the-world cruise with the destination of Newport News, for a mid-life Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) that lasted until 25 June 2001. She then changed home port to San Diego, California, arriving there on 13 November 2001.

In mid-April 2003, Nimitz relieved Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf, launching sorties over Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Nimitz returned to San Diego on 2 November 2003 where she underwent regularly scheduled maintenance and repair. Nimitz set sail on yet another deployment to the Persian Gulf in May 2005, returning from an uneventful deployment on 8 November 2005.

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CVN 69 Dwight D. Eisenhower


USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVAN-69/CVN-69), nicknamed "Ike", is the second of 10 Nimitz-class supercarriers in the United States Navy. Originally, she was named Eisenhower, much like her sister, Nimitz. On May 25, 1970, the name was lengthened to Dwight D. Eisenhower. On commissioning, Ike replaced the aged World War II-era carrier USS Franklin D. Rossevelt in the fleet.

On June 29, 1970, Newport News Shipbuilding of Newport News, Virginia was awarded the contract for construction. On June 30 1975, her designation was changed from CVAN-69 to CVN-69.

She was laid down as hull number 599 on 15 August 1970 at Newport News shipyard at a cost of $679 million, launched 11 October 1975 after christening by Mamie Doud-Eisenhower, and commissioned 18 October 1977, Captain William E. Ramsey in command. Ramsey was later promoted to Rear Admiral after commanding the Ike. Since her commissioning, Ike has had 13 Commanding Officers to date.

Ike was initially assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and after 14 months of training, sailed for her first deployment in the Mediterranean in January of 1979. President Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Manachem Begin made a brief visit to the Ike during this cruise while the ship was off the coast of Israel. She returned to Norfolk Naval Station in July of the same year. Under the command of her second Commanding Officer, Captain James H. Mauldin, her second deployment occurred in 1980, when she was dispatched by President Carter to the Indian Ocean(I.O.), in response to the Iran hostage crisis. She relieved the U.S.S. Nimitz 3 days after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt.

As a result of the tensions in the area, she stayed on station off the coast of Iran for over 8 months, and was at sea for a total of 254 days. Sailors on the Ike affectionately dubbed the areas they patrolled in the I.O. as "Gonzo" and "Kermit" station, after the popular Muppets characters. At one point, she spent 152 days (or 5 1/2 months) at sea without a port call, a new record. She was relieved by the USS Independence(CV-62). She returned home to Norfolk on December 22, 1980, just in time for her airwing and crew to celebrate Christmas with their families. 29 days after Ike's return home, the hostages were freed. In total, she has completed eight deployments, including two to the Indian Ocean in 1980 and 1991.

For over 20 years, she held the record for the longest peacetime deployment for an aircraft carrier in history. Prior to this, her sister ship, the U.S.S. Nimitz, was the previous record holder. Eisenhower's record was broken by another of her "sister ships," the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

On her third deployment in 1982, she returned to The Mediterranean Sea, and spent a number of days at sea once again. Her new C.O. was Captain E.W. Clexton, who was formerly her Executive Officer several years earlier under Captain W.E. Ramsey.

After her fourth deployment Ike went into Newport News and Drydock in October 1985 for a major overhaul. The 18-month yard period included the addition of the Close-in Weapons System, NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System, Naval Tactical Data System, anti-submarine warfare module, communications upgrades and rehabilitation of 1,831 berths in 25 compartments. Ike re-entered the fleet in April 1987.

In 1990, Ike completed her sixth Mediterranean deployment. The deployment became a commemorative event in the worldwide 'Dwight D. Eisenhower Centennial,' celebrating the 100th anniversary of the late president's birth. During D-Day anniversary ceremonies off the coast of Normandy, President Eisenhower's son John Eisenhower and D-Day veterans embarked in the ship, while Carrier Air Wing Seven conducted a memorial flyover of the American cemetery at Omaha Beach.

In response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Ike became the first carrier to conduct sustained operations in the Red Sea, and only the second nuclear-powered aircraft carrier ever to transit the Suez Canal. Ike served as a ready striking force in the event Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia, and participated in maritime interception operations in support of a United Nations embargo against Iraq.

After completion of an extensive shipyard period and work ups, Ike deployed 26 September 1991 to the Persian Gulf to continue multi-national operations with coalition forces in support of Operation Desert Storm. Ike returned to Norfolk 2 April 1992, and on 6 January 1993, entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul and conversion, returning to the fleet 12 November 1993.

In September 1994, Ike and elements of the U.S. 10th Mountain Division first tested the concept of adaptive force packaging. The division's soldiers and equipment were loaded on board, and the Ike Army/Navy team headed for Port-au-Prince to lead Operation Uphold Democracy, the U.S.-led effort to restore the elected government of Haiti.

One month later, in October 1994, Ike departed for a six-month deployment which included flying missions in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Deny Flight. This deployment marked the first time that women had deployed as crew members of a U.S. Navy combatant. Ike, Carrier Wing Three, and COMCRUDESGRU Eight team included more than 400 women.

Ike returned to Newport News Shipbuilding on 17 July 1995 for an 18-month complex overhaul which was completed on 27 January 1997. The ship departed on her 10th deployment on 10 June 1998 and returned in December. In February 1999, Ike returned to the Norfolk Navy Shipyard for a six-month refitting and returned to the fleet in June. Upon completion in June 1999, she returned to full duty in the fleet.

Ike has earned a number of awards, including the Battle "E" in 1979, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1998 and 1999 as the most battle efficient carrier in the Atlantic Fleet. In 1999, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet.She was awarded The Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal(1980), the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal (1990, 1992, 1995, 2001) and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon(1980, 1983). Ike also won the Atlantic Fleet Retention Excellence Award (aka the Golden Anchor Award) in 1999.

Deploying in February 2000 and returning that August on the "Millennium Cruise," for the first time Ike's embarked aircraft dropped ordinance in combat while supporting Operation Southern Watch's No-Fly Zone over Iraq. Ike returned on 18 August.

On May 21, 2001, the Ike returned to Newport News Shipbuiding and Drydock Company(NNS&DDC) to begin a 4 year, $2.5 billion overhaul. As well as replacing her two nuclear reactors with a new core, the Dwight D. Eisenhower underwent complex renovations and major technological upgrades during its scheduled half-life overhaul. On January 25, 2005, Ike left NNS&DDC under her own power, and returned to Norfolk Naval Station, and the fleet. The modernizations are expected to extend the ship's service life well beyond 2025.

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CVN 70 Carl Vinson


USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) is a United States Navy Nimitz class supercarrier named after Carl Vinson, a Congressman from Georgia.

She was commissioned in 1982 and carries F/A-18 Hornets and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as well as surveillance and other aircraft. Carl Vinson can carry 85 planes and 5,500 personnel. Very few ships of the United States Navy have been named for a person who was alive at the time of the christening; the list includes Carl Vinson (CVN-70), Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), John C. Stennis (CVN-74), Bob Hope (T-AKR-300), Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), Nitze (DDG-94), Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), and George H. W. Bush (CVN-77).

A member of the United States House of Representatives for fifty years, Carl Vinson was, for twenty-nine years, the Chairman of the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee.

After commissioning on 13 March 1982, USS Carl Vinson was put to sea for a post-commissioning shakedown. Vinson departed on 1 March 1983 for its new homeport at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California. The ship has had a few nicknames during its lifetime of service, including the "Chucky Vee," the "Battlestar" and the "Golden Eagle."

Carl Vinson participated in RIMPAC '84 before departing 14 October 1984 for its first overseas deployment in the Western Pacific.

From January until April of 1985 Carl Vinson was in the Indian Ocean for 107 consecutive days.

In May and June of 1986 the ship was involved in several exercises, including a RIMPAC '86 exercise. On 12 August 1986 the ship departed on its second deployment, in the process becoming the first aircraft carrier to operate in the Bering Sea.

In January of 1987, after operating extensively in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea, Carl Vinson returned to Naval Air Station Alameda, in the process transiting the Bering Sea once more.

The carrier departed for its fourth deployment in 1988, its intended destination being the . While on station the carrier escorted U.S. flagged tankers in the Persian Gulf. The carrier returned 16 December 1988.

On 18 September 1989 carrier departed Alameda to participate in PACEX '89, the largest peacetime naval exercise since the Second World War. During the exercise Vinson operated in the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands, eventually leading a three carrier battle group force in conducting operations in the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean.

The carrier departed on its fifth deployment 1 February 1990, returning on 31 July 1990 without incident.

On 17 February 1994 the carrier departed for the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. On 5 August 1994 Carl Vinson hosted the change of command ceremonies for the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. The carrier returned to Alameda on 17 August 1994.

From 26 August until 3 September 1995, Vinson participated in Exercise Ke Koa, as well as ceremonies to commemorate the end of World War II in the Pacific. During these ceremonies, President Bill Clinton visited the ship in Hawaii. As part of the commemoration ceremonies, Vinson launched 12 WWII era planes.

The ship departed for its seventh deployment 14 May 1996, heading for the Persian Gulf in support for Operation Southern Watch and Operation Desert Strike. The ship also participated in Exercise Rugged Nautilus before returning to Alameda on 14 November 1996.

With the closing of Naval Air Station Alameda, the ship was transferred to Bremerton, Washington, in late 1996 or early 1997, either way it arrived at its new homeport 17 January 1997, where it played host to the last carrier launch and recovery operations for the A6-E Intruder.

In 1998 the ship Participated in RIMPAC '98 before departing for the Persian Gulf, launching airstrikes on 19 December 1998 in support of Operation Desert Fox and Operation Southern Watch. These strike continued into March of 1999. In July of 1999, Vinson was drydocked in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for 11 months as the Navy spent more than $230 million dollars to upgrade the ship. Post refit shakedowns continued into 2000.

From January until June 2001 the carrier began rigorous training for its twelfth deployment overseas. On 23 July 2001 Carl Vinson steamed from Bremerton, Washington, bound for the Persian Gulf to support Operation Southern Watch. This changed abruptly on 11 September 2001, as the ship was rounding the tip of India. In response to the terror attacks on U.S. soil, Vinson changed course and sped toward the North Arabian Sea, where on 7 October 2001, Vinson launched the first airstrikes in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. For 72 days, Vinson, along with Carrier Wing 11, launched over 4,000 combat sorties in the War on Terror. In mid December, Vinson began the return trip home, stopping over at Changi Naval Base, Singapore for Christmas before reaching the U.S. on 23 January 2002. In April, the ship was overhauled, setting sail in September for a post-refit shakedown.

In competition year 2004, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award, awarded to the most battle-ready ship in the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

In January 2005 USS Carl Vinson departed Bremerton, Washington for the last time. From February to August 2005 she completed a World Cruise which included several months in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Highlights of the cruise included port calls to Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Rhodes, Greece and Lisbon, Portugal. Her 2005 World Cruise concluded with a homeport change to Norfolk, Virginia for a Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH), which includes refueling her nuclear reactors. She will return to sea duty in late 2008 or early 2009.

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CVN 71 Theodore Roosevelt


USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is the fourth Nimitz-class supercarrier. Her history began on 30 September 1980, when a contract was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding.

Construction began on 31 October 1981, when Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger authenticated the keel-laying of Theodore Roosevelt by initiating the first weld. Captain Paul W. Parcells was named Prospective Commanding Officer in Feb. 1984, and that October the ship was officially christened. On 25 October 1986, Theodore Roosevelt was placed in active service.

Normally the first ship in a class, in this case Nimitz, would be shock tested prior to deployment. However, Nimitz was never tested and the testing fell to Theodore Roosevelt, or the "T.R." as it is sometimes referred to by its sailors. A more common name, and its call sign, is Rough Rider, the name of President Theodore Roosevelt's volunteer cavalry unit during the Spanish-American War The T.R. had four explosive charges at various depths, distances and amplitudes detonated underneath her hull. All critical components were videotaped and analyzed. The shock testing was in addition to the standard tests that all newly commissioned ships endure such as high speed runs and turns.

Because of extensive changes between the first three units of the class and "T.R." and all subsequent ships, the latter six are infrequently called "Theodore Roosevelt-class" aircraft carriers.

Capt. Dayton W. Ritt became Theodore Roosevelt's second Commanding Officer on 3 October 1987, and on 30 December 1988, Theodore Roosevelt started her maiden deployment, which was also the maiden deployment of the first 10-squadron air wing, Carrier Air Wing Eight.

Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Battle "E" from Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, on 20 March 1990.

On 9 June 1990, Capt. Charles S. Abbot became the ship's third Commanding Officer and on 28 December, Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-8 deployed for Operation Desert Shield. Theodore Roosevelt entered the war on 9 January 1991, eventually flying over 4,200 sorties (more than any other carrier) and dropping more than 4,800,000 pounds of ordnance before the cease-fire on 28 February.

When Iraqi forces turned on the Kurds, Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-8 were among the first coalition forces in Operation Provide Comfort, flying patrols over northern Iraq. After a 189-day deployment, with 169 days at sea, Theodore Roosevelt returned to Norfolk on 28 June 1991. On 14 February 1992, the ship won its second Battle "E". This was followed by the award of the Battenberg Cup for 1991 as the Atlantic Fleet's premier ship.

Capt. Stanley W. Bryant became Theodore Roosevelt's fourth Commanding Officer on 27 August 1992.

Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-8 began their third deployment on 11 March 1993, teamed with the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) to test the concept of embarking a multi-purpose Marine force in a carrier. Theodore Roosevelt hosted President Bill Clinton's first visit to a U.S. Navy ship, then sailed to the Adriatic as CVW-8 planes enforced Operation Deny Flight in the U.S. no-fly zone over Bosnia. In June, on the way to only her second port visit, Theodore Roosevelt was ordered to turn around and transit the Suez Canal en-route to the Red Sea to participate in Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq.

Deployed for 184 days, Theodore Roosevelt spent 169 days underway. Her flight deck logged over 16,000 hours, and CVW-8 flew more sorties than during the Persian Gulf War. For its accomplishments, the ship received its second Meritorious Unit Commendation.

In November 1993, Theodore Roosevelt entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). Heading back to sea on 14 April 1994, Theodore Roosevelt became the first nuclear carrier to complete an SRA ahead of schedule at NNSY.

Awards for 1993 continued. Theodore Roosevelt received the CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for the best retention in an Atlantic Fleet carrier. On 10 March 1994, Theodore Roosevelt received its third Battle "E". Then on June 3, Theodore Roosevelt was awarded its second Battenberg Cup as the best ship in the Atlantic Fleet.

On 8 July 1994, Capt. Ronald L. Christenson became Theodore Roosevelt's fifth Commanding Officer.

Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-8 began their fourth deployment in March 1995, operating in the Red Sea in support of Operation Southern Watch. Theodore Roosevelt also provided a "Forward...from the Sea" presence, conducting flight operations in support of Operations Deny Flight and Sharp Guard over the skies of Bosnia and in the Adriatic operating areas. Deny Flight evolved into Operation Deliberate Force, as CVW-8 aircraft led NATO strikes against strategic Bosnian Serb targets in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During Theodore Roosevelt's transit home, Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton came aboard and awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group the Navy Unit Commendation for its Bosnia operations.

In 1996, Theodore Roosevelt received its third consecutive Golden Anchor Award and Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet's first Security Excellence Award. CVW-3 joined Theodore Roosevelt in May 1996 prior to her port visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia. On 1 November 1996, Capt. David Architzel became Theodore Roosevelt's sixth Commanding Officer. Theodore Roosevelt deployed for her fifth deployment on 25 November 1996, conducting operations in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch.

On 8 July 1997, Theodore Roosevelt entered the Newport News Shipbuilding yard for a one-year Extended Drydock and Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA), her first major overhaul since commissioning. In February 1998, Theodore Roosevelt received her fifth Golden Anchor Award while in the shipyard. One year later, Theodore Roosevelt returned to her homeport at the Norfolk Naval Station.

Capt. David R. Bryant became Theodore Roosevelt's seventh Commanding Officer on 22 September 1998.

Theodore Roosevelt began her sixth deployment on 26 March 1999 with CVW-8. They were immediately called to duty in the Ionian Sea to support NATO's Operation Allied Force. Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-8 aircraft conducted air strikes for two months over the skies of Kosovo against the Serbians. TR and CVW-8 were then dispatched to support Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the "no-fly" zone over Southern Iraq. Theodore Roosevelt returned to her homeport of Norfolk, Va., on 24 September 1999.

On 7 January 2000, Theodore Roosevelt entered a Planned Incremental Availability at the Norfolk Naval Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia. This six month maintenance period ended on 30 June 2000 when the ship departed on sea trials.

Capt. R.J. O'Hanlon became Theodore Roosevelt's eigth Commanding Officer in 2000.

Theodore Roosevelt successfully completed her Inter-Deployment Training Cycle in August 2001.

Theodore Roosevelt began her seventh deployment on 19 September 2001 with Carrier Air Wing One. After a routine transit of the Atlantic Ocean, Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-1 were called to support Operation Enduring Freedom. Receiving support from around the country, Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-1 led coalition forces in creating a more stable government in Afghanistan and hunting down members of al-Qaeda. After breaking the record longest period underway since WWII, Theodore Roosevelt's crew only hit two ports after 159 days at sea. Theodore Roosevelt was again awarded the Battenberg Cup, Naval Unit Commendation, and Battle E. Theodore Roosevelt pulled back in 17 March 2002.

Theodore Roosevelt pulled out of NNSY 30 October 2002, after completing a Planned Incremental Availability. After completing PIA,Theodore Roosevelt left Naval Station Norfolk on January 6 for a month long training cruise in the Caribbean area. While down there TR received orders to proceed across the Atlantic to the Mediterrean Sea. TR arrived in February and began preparations to launch attacks on Iraq. On March 16, 2003 Theodore Roosevelt along with the USS Harry S. Truman began launching air strikes into Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ports of call included: Souda Bay, Crete; Koper, Slovenia; and Spain. TR returned home May 26. Shortly after returning the Theodore Roosevelt was again awarded the Meritorious Unit Commadation, the Navy Unit Citation, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

Capt. John 'Turk' Green became Theodore Roosevelt's ninth Commanding Officer in 2003.

In February 2004, TR entered a ten-month DPIA (Docked Planned Incremental Availability). Major systems overhauled included AC systems, Steam and CHT (sewage) systems, 1MC (announcing) systems, communication, navigation, and detection suites, weapons elevator overhauls, Propeller replacement, hull cleaning and painting, and sea valve replacement, to name a few. TR came out of the dry-dock in August and completed its availability in December 2004 with all four catapults operational and certified, a first for a carrier.

Capt. John R. Haley became Theodore Roosevelt's tenth Commanding Officer in May of 2005.

On September 1st, 2005, TR deployed for a routine six-month mission to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This deployment was notable in that it was the last cruise for the F-14 Tomcat before its scheduled retirement in 2006. The TR carried two Tomcat squadrons, VF-31 (Tomcatters) and VF-213 (Black Lions). Ports of call included Palma, Spain; Naples, Italy; Dubai, UAE; Marmaris, Turkey; and Corfu, Greece. USS Theodore Roosevelt returned to home port on March 11th, 2006. Shortly after this cruise, the TR earned the Ramage award, given to the most battle-worthy carrier in the navy.

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CVN 72 Abraham Lincoln


The second USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), nicknamed "Abe", is the fifth Nimitz-class supercarrier in the United States Navy. The ship is named after former president Abraham Lincoln. Its home port is Everett, Washington.

Abe's contract was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding on 27 December 1982; her keel was laid down 3 November 1984 at Newport News, Virginia. The ship was launched on 13 February 1988 and commissioned on 11 November 1989.

Abraham Lincoln was transferred to the Pacific, in September 1990. Its maiden Western Pacific deployment came unexpectedly on 28 May 1991 in response to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

While heading toward the Indian Ocean, the ship was diverted to support evacuation operations after Mount Pinatubo erupted on Luzon island in the Philippines. In support of Operation Fiery Vigil, Lincoln led a 23-ship armada that moved over 45,000 people from the Subic Bay Naval Station to the port of Cebu in the Visayas. It was the largest peacetime evacuation of active military personnel and their families in history.

After Fiery Vigil, Lincoln steamed toward the Persian Gulf, to run reconnaissance and combat air patrols in Iraq and Kuwait, assisting allied and US troops involved with Desert Storm.

In early 1992, the ship supported Operation Southern Watch, the United Nations-sanctioned "no fly zone" over southern Iraq.

In October 1993, the carrier was ordered to the coast of Somalia to assist UN humanitarian operations. For four weeks, Abraham Lincoln flew air patrols over Mogadishu in support of Operation Restore Hope.

Abraham Lincoln was to be the first carrier to integrate female aviators into the crew after the Combat Exclusion Laws were lifted on 28 April 1993. The ship left San Diego on 24 October 1994, to begin refresher training. The next day, Kara Spears Hultgreen, first female F-14 Tomcat pilot, died when her plane crashed into the sea on final approach due to a combination of engine malfunction and pilot error.

Abraham Lincoln's third deployment began in April 1995 when Lincoln was sent to the Persian Gulf, where the ship assisted in Southern Watch and in Operation Vigilant Sentinel.

Abraham Lincoln began a fourth deployment in June 1998. Once again, the ship headed for the Persian Gulf in support of Southern Watch. The ship spent three months in the gulf during one of the hottest summers in recent years. Temperatures on the flight deck were reported at 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 °C).

In 1999 the ship participated in several internal Navy exercises, then again deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Southern Watch. On this deployment, the carrier, air wing and battle group ships earned the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. Additionally the ship earned the prestigious Arleigh Burke Award as the most improved command in the Pacific Fleet.

Abraham Lincoln was in port on September 11, 2001. It put to sea on 20 July 2002 to support Operation Enduring Freedom. It took up station once more in support of Operation Southern Watch before taking a port visit to Perth, Western Australia. It was during this time that the Lincoln was ordered to the Persian Gulf to take part in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This forced the Navy to extend Lincoln's stay from 20 January 2003 to 6 May, 2003.

Abraham Lincoln and the carrier battle group and airwing helped deliver the opening salvos and air strikes in Operation Iraqi Freedom. During its deployment, some 16,500 sorties were flown and 1.6 million pounds of ordnance used. The carrier returned home in May 2003, in the process receiving a visit from President George W. Bush before officially ending Lincoln's deployment by docking at San Diego.

Abraham Lincoln departed for her next voyage on 15 October 2004. The carrier was on a port call in Hong Kong when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck southern Asia on 26 December 2004. To help with the international relief effort and assist with search and rescue efforts already underway, the Lincoln deployed to the hard hit western coast of Sumatra to provide humanitarian assistance for Operation Unified Assistance.

In mid-January 2005 the carrier left Indonesia after the Indonesian government refused to allow fighter pilots assigned to Lincoln to conduct air patrols and training flights. By law US carrier-based pilots must practice at least once every two to three weeks to remain "fit", otherwise they are grounded. Despite the move into international waters, Lincoln continued to provide support to the region until 4 February. During the carrier's 33 days on station, it and its strike group delivered 5.7 million pounds of relief supplies. The 17 helicopters attached to group flew 1,747 relief missions along the western coast of Sumatra. The carrier's departure coincided with the arrival of the hospital ship Mercy.

At the end of February 2006, Lincoln went underway as part of a scheduled "WestPac" deployment.

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CVN 73 George Washington


USS George Washington (CVN 73) (Callsign: WARFIGHTER) is the sixth ship in the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered supercarriers, and the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, first President of the United States. Her contract was awarded on December 27, 1982 and she was built by Newport News Shipbuilding. The keel was laid on 25 August 1986, she was christened July 21, 1990 by then-First Lady Barbara Bush, and was commissioned 4 July 1992.

As of 2006, George Washington is homeported at NS Norfolk, Virginia.

George Washington (commonly known as GW) is 1,092 ft (333 m) long, 257 ft (78 m) wide and is as high as a twenty-four-story building, at 244 feet (74 m). The super carrier can accommodate approximately 80 aircraft and has a flight deck 4.5 acres (18,000 m²) in size, using four elevators that are 3,880 ft² (360 m²) each to move planes between the flight deck and the hangar bay. With a combat load, GW displaces almost 97,000 tons and can accommodate 6,250 crewmembers. Her four distilling units can make 400,000 U.S. gallons (1,500 m³) of fresh water a day; her food service divisions serves 18,000 meals per day. There are over 2,500 compartments on board requiring 2,520 tons (2.1 MW) of air conditioning capacity (enough to cool over 2,000 homes). The warship uses two Mark II stockless anchors that weigh 30 tons each, with each link of the anchor chain weighing 360 pounds (160 kg). She is currently equipped with 3 Phalanx 20 mm CIWS Mounts and 2 Sea Sparrow SAM launchers. 1 CIWS and 1 Sea Sparrow mount were removed to make way for 2 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launchers, installed during the 2005 Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).

All US Navy aircraft carriers have their hull number painted on both sides of their island structure for identification. These numbers are lighted white for visibility at night while in port. By order of Congress, George Washington's island number is outlined in red, white and blue lights in honor of her namesake's contributions to America's independence; it is the only carrier lighted in this way. General Washington had long been a proponent of a strong Navy. On 15 November 1781 he wrote, Without a decisive Naval force, we can do nothing decisive. And with it, everything honourable and decisive. These words are engraved on a plaque on the ship's quarterdeck.

George Washington has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing the ship's excellence. They include the 1997, 2000, and 2002 Battenberg Cups, the 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2002 Battle "E", two Navy Unit Commendations and three Meritorious Unit Commendations. In 1994, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet.

Since commissioning, George Washington has made six Mediterranean Sea / Persian Gulf deployments. During George Washington's maiden deployment the ship proudly served as the backdrop for the 50th anniversary of D-Day. During this deployment the ship also made news after they billed Clinton staff members for $562 worth of towels and bathrobes the group had apparently taken from the ship without authorization after spending a night aboard. In 1996, during its second deployment, George Washington was host to a historic meeting of the Joint Military Commission comprised of the military leaders of the Former Warring Factions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ship also played a vital peacekeeping role in Operation Decisive Endeavor in Bosnia and Herzegovina and enforced the "No Fly zone" over Southern Iraq as part of Operation Southern Watch.

On its third deployment from October 1997 to April 1998, GW spent most of her six month cruise in the Persian Gulf as the cornerstone of the U.S. military force, which compelled Iraq to allow United Nations weapons inspectors in their country.

On its fourth deployment from June 2000 to December 2000, George Washington again spent a large portion of the six month deployment in the Persian Gulf as the centerpiece of the U.S. military presence there.

The George Washington CVBG departed 21 June 2000. Their deployment included operations in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. While in the Persian Gulf, the battle group supported Operation Southern Watch by flying more than 800 sorties over Iraq. Surface forces supported UN sanctions against Iraq by conducting Maritime Interception Operations and diverting more than 20,000 metric tons of oil smuggled out of Iraq in violation of UN sanctions. In the Adriatic, the battle group was a stabilizing presence when tensions rose in the region after presidential elections in Yugoslavia.

Throughout the deployment, battle group units participated in numerous international exercises, including Exercise Destined Glory, the largest NATO exercise of the year. Battle group units worked with military forces from Oman in the Persian Gulf, and from Hungary, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Spain, France and the UK in the Mediterranean region, improving interoperability and strengthening relationships with those countries.

The Saipan amphibious ready group (ARG), with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked, left homeport 11 July. Their deployment was highlighted by extensive operations and exercises throughout the Mediterranean, including presence operations in the Adriatic Sea. The ARG/MEU team also participated in several international exercises. In addition to NATO Exercise Destined Glory, they were key players in Slunj 2000 (a bilateral exercise with Croatia) and PHIBLEX 00.

During the deployment, battle group ships steamed more than 400,000 miles and spent a combined 1800 days underway. The aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) flew more than 9,000 sorties and made 9,000 arrested landings aboard George Washington.

About 15,000 Sailors and Marines of the George Washington aircraft carrier battle group (CVBG) and Saipan amphibious ready group (ARG) returned to their East Coast home ports from six-month Mediterranean Sea/Persian Gulf deployments 19 December and 21 December 2000, respectively. A forecasted low pressure system off the East Coast the next week precipitated a decision to bring the CVBG units in a day early. They had been scheduled to arrive 20 December.

Aircraft from CVW 17 arrived at NAS Oceana, 18 December. The six ships returning 19 December included George Washington, Normandy (CG-60), Caron (DD-970), Briscoe (DD-977), Hawes (FFG-53), Supply (AOE-6). The three ships of the Saipan ARG scheduled to return 21 December included Saipan (LHA-2), Austin (LPD-4), and Ashland (LSD-48). Battle group submarines Albany (SSN-753) and Pittsburgh (SSN-720) also returned 21 December.

On 13 February, George Washington began a six-month PIA at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The ship received upgrades to many ship systems, including berthing spaces, ventilation systems, and computer networking. On 31 July the ship began four days of sea trials before returning to homeport in preparation for workups for a planned 2002 deployment.

On 6 September George Washington was presented with the 2000 Battenberg Cup, awarded annually to the Atlantic Fleet ship or submarine with the greatest crew accomplishments during the previous calendar year. It was the second time GW had won the award (the ship was also the winner of the 1997 award). The crew also accepted the Flatley Award for aircraft carriers with the best aviation safety record.

On the morning of 11 September, George Washington was operating off the coast of Virginia conducting routine carrier qualifications when the 9/11 attacks took place. She was diverted north and arrived in New York City the following day. For the next three days, the ship and her air wing (most of which was hastily transferred from USS John F. Kennedy) provided airspace defense for the city and surrounding area in coordination with NORAD. The ship then returned home and resumed the Inter Deployment Training Cycle. From 2 to 29 November George Washington participated in Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) I/II. For the remainder of the year and into 2002 the ship hosted more carrier qualifications.

On 1 April 2002 ships and aircraft of the George Washington Carrier Battle Group commenced use of the Vieques Island inner range in conjunction with their Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX). The exercise also utilized the Northern and Southern Puerto Rican Operating Areas and will involve complex battle group training events, naval surface fire support training and air-to-ground bombing. COMPTUEX is an intermediate level battle group exercise designed to forge the Battle Group into a cohesive, fighting team. In accordance with presidential directives, all training on Vieques utilized inert (non-explosive) ordnance. While underway, on 8 April, CAPT Martin J. Erdossy relieved CAPT William McCarthy as Commanding Officer. Present at the change of command ceremony on the ship's flight deck were RADM Joseph Sestak, GW Battle Group Commander and RADM Lindell G. Rutherford, Commander Carrier Group Four, who had been the previous GW Commanding Officer.

Conducted by the commander of Carrier Group 4 it was a critical step in the pre-deployment training cycle and a prerequisite for the battle group's Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX), scheduled for late April. Units participating in COMPTUEX include George Washington with Carrier Air Wing 17 and Destroyer Squadron 26 embarked; guided-missile cruisers Normandy and Monterey (CG-61); Guided missile destroyers Barry (DDG-52), Laboon (DDG-58) and Mahan (DDG-72); destroyers Arthur W. Radford (DD-968), guided-missile frigate Kauffman (FFG-59), attack submarine Oklahoma City (SSN-723), and oiler Supply (T-AOE-6).

Ships and squadrons of the George Washington Battle Group successfully completed JTFEX 02-2 on 5 May, paving the way for its certification to deploy. The exercise took place in the waters off the U.S. East Coast, as well as on training ranges in North Carolina and Florida.

Following a stand down period, the George Washington Battle Group deployed on 20 June 2002 and headed for the North Arabian Sea where it relieved the John F. Kennedy Battle Group on 19 July.

On 11 September 2002 the George Washington was relieved by the USS Abraham Lincoln Battle Group in the Persian Gulf, where George Washington had been supporting Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. Following 11 September, the battle group transited to the North Arabian Sea and headed west and then north, transiting the Suez by mid-September. On 23 September George Washington had arrived in the Eastern Atlantic, and participated in Mediterranean Shark '02, a bilateral exercise with Morocco. The air portions of the exercise involved virtually all CVW-17 aircraft and up to 12 Moroccan fighters a day, but the Moroccans were not the only ones protecting their assets during mock battles. GW Sailors also got a heady dose of realism when the exercise called for an attack against the American aircraft carrier without its protective fighter umbrella.

On October 2 the crew was treated to a flight deck concert by the band 3 Doors Down while the ship was making a port visit to Lisbon Portugal. Footage from this concert and the band's tour of the ship was used in the video to the band's single "Love Me When I'm Gone".

The George Washington Battle Group returned to Norfolk on 20 December 2002, completing a six-month combat deployment in the Persian Gulf, in addition to operations in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

During their six-month deployment, George Washington launched approximately 10,000 sorties. These sorties included offensive strike missions, designed to dislodge both Taliban and Al-Qaida operatives. In August, George Washington and Normandy, steamed into the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the southern no-fly zone over Iraq. CVW-17 sorties marked the first time in a year that aircraft launched from a U.S. carrier would patrol the skies over Iraq in conjunction with other coalition aircraft.

While deployed overseas, Battle Group ships visited 16 different countries, including Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Slovenia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

On 23 June George Washington was presented with the 2002 Battenberg Cup. It was the third time the ship had won the prestigious award.

On September 9 the ship left Norfolk to conduct carrier qualifications. Two days later, as the ship was operating off the coast of Virginia when an arresting wire parted while an F/A-18 was landing. As the wire parted, it snapped back violently across the deck, injuring five crewmen, two critically. The sailors, who were part of the ship's company, VAW-120 and VFA-106 had to be medically evacuated from the ship but all survived the mishap. The aircraft was lost over the side but the pilot was able to eject safely. Footage of the mishap was later used in a National Geographic special about the ship that was being filmed at the time.

GW returned to Norfolk, Va., 19 December 2003 after 40 days at sea, where she successfully completed her Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). The GWSTRKGRU was comprised of Destroyer Squadron 28 and Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7), Vella Gulf (CG-72), Ramage (DDG-61), Ross (DDG-71), Bulkeley (DDG-84), Elrod (FFG-55) and Supply (T-AOE-6).

The exercise involved more than 7,600 Sailors operating off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Having completed this final phase of the training cycle, the strike group assumed surge status and is fully qualified to take the battle to any arena in the world.

During this aggressive work-up cycle, the training was compressed to support the Chief of Naval Operations-directed Fleet Readiness Plan (FRP). FRP calls for six surge carrier strike groups to be ready at any time, with two more ready shortly thereafter.

The Navy announced on 13 January 2004 that the George Washington Carrier Strike Group would depart for a routine deployment on 20 January in support of the global war on terrorism.

George Washington made a port visit at Souda Bay, Crete beginning on 6 February through 10 February 2004. GW shared the port visit with Vella Gulf. By 12 February, George Washington was at sea and transited the Suez Canal on or about 16 February. The GW was operating in the Red Sea on 17 February.

On 20 February George Washington entered the Gulf of Aden; three days later the GW was operating in the Northern Arabian Sea. On 27 February 2004 George Washington was passing through the Gulf of Oman, and by early March, she and other elements of the Carrier Strike Group were conducting operations in the Persian Gulf. On 13 March the ship made the first of three port visits to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

On 8 April, F/A-18 Hornets from Carrier Air Wing Seven participated in Operation Vigilant Resolve. One of the Naval Air Station Oceana-based “Wildcats” from Strike Fighter Squadron 131 (VFA-131) conducted a 20-mm strafing run against an enemy position. Another VFA-131 Hornet dropped two 500-pound GBU-12 laser-guided bombs on another enemy position in Fallujah, Iraq, on 9 April. This was the first live ordnance dropped by CVW-7 aircraft since George Washington deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

After being relieved by the USS John F. Kennedy, the ship began its transit home. The ship and crew would enjoy one final port visit to Naples Italy from 14-18 July.

After traveling more than 51,000 nautical miles and spending six months at sea, George Washington completed its sixth Mediterranean and Persian Gulf deployment and returned to Norfolk on 26 July.

On 13 September 2004, GW sailors returned to sea to perform carrier qualifications, conduct training drills and fine tune their warfighting skills, in order to keep the surge carrier in top form if the need to deploy should arise. George Washington welcomed Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) “Flying Eagles,” the Fleet Replacement Squadron for the Navy’s newest fighter, the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, on 3 November 2004. It was the first time the fighters had been launched and recovered on the carrier. The ship returned home the morning of 22 September. on 30 September, CAPT Garry R. White relieved CAPT Erdossy as Commanding Officer at a ceremony in the ship's hangar bay.

George Washington began an underway period 2 November, marking the third underway period for the surge carrier since returning from deployment in July. With one underway remaining this year, the objectives while under way were to be obtaining carrier qualifications (CQs) and training carrier qualifications (TCQs), a substantial ammunition offload and an annual reactor inspection, all of which would mark the closing of the ship's surge status. Over the following two weeks, GW was to help new pilots earn their wings by helping them with their training carrier qualifications. These TCQs are the essential last step in any pilot's certification process. Long-time pilots are also doing CQs as refresher training. GW returned to home port on 22 November. GW completed one last underway CQ period from 30 November to 3 December before standing down for the holiday season.

On January 28, 2005 the ship entered drydock for PIA. Many ship's systems were upgraded and maintenance was done to the hull while in drydock. The ship's four jet blast deflectors were removed and upgraded to handle the increased heat generated by the F/A-18E Super Hornet. The ship's defensive weapons configuration was also altered, as one Phalanx CIWS mount and one Sea Sparrow launcher were removed and replaced with two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers. During the 11 months the ship was drydocked, the crew contributed an unprecedented 20,000 hours of volunteer community service to the city of Newport News. The availability was completed on schedule, and George Washington returned to her Norfolk homeport on December 17 2005.

On 31 January the ship, with Carrier Air Wing 17 aboard, began a Flight Deck Certification and carrier qualification period. She returned to Norfolk on 16 February to prepare for further exercises and tasking. She was underway again on 28 February to conduct more carrier quals and damage control training and evaluations, and returned to Norfolk on 17 March. GW and CVW-17 left Norfolk on 04 April for a scheduled two month "Partnership of the Americas" deployment to operate as part of SOUTHCOM. This deployment included counter-drug operations in the Caribbean Sea, crew exchanges and exercises with Latin American and South American navies, and port visits for the carrier and strike group, which consisted of the cruiser USS Monterey, destroyer USS Stout, and frigate USS Underwood. The first of these port visits took place from 14-17 April when George Washington stopped in St. Maarten. The next day the ship was underway again, and soon began a crew exchange program with the Colombian Navy. More exercises followed, along with another port visit, to the island of Antigua from 15-18 May. After leaving Antigua, GW began the transit back to homeport and arrived in Norfolk on 24 May.

On December 1st, 2005, the United States Navy announced that George Washington will replace USS Kitty Hawk in 2008 as the forward-deployed carrier in Yokosuka Japan. She will be the first nuclear-powered surface warship permanently stationed in Japan. George Washington will assume Carrier Air Wing 5, already based in Japan.

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CVN 74 John C. Stennis


USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier in the United States Navy named for a Senator from Mississippi. She was commissioned on 9 December 1995. Her homeport is Bremerton, Washington.

The mission of Stennis and her embarked Air Wing (CVW-9) is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward deployed in the global arena. The embarked Air Wing consists of eight to nine squadrons. Attached aircraft are the F/A-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, S-3B Viking, E-2C Hawkeye, and SH-60 Seahawk.

The Air Wing can destroy enemy aircraft, ships, submarines, and land targets, or lay mines hundreds of miles from the ship. Stennis' aircraft are used to conduct strikes, support land battles, protect the Battle Group or other friendly shipping, and implement a sea or air blockade. The Air Wing provides a visible presence to demonstrate American power and resolve in a crisis. The ship normally operates as the centerpiece of a Carrier Battle Group commanded by a flag officer embarked upon Stennis and consisting of four to six other ships.

Stennis' two nuclear reactors give her virtually unlimited range and endurance and a top speed in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h). The ship's four catapults and four arresting gear engines enable her to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously. The ship carries approximately three million gallons (11,000 m³) of fuel for her aircraft and escorts, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment. Stennis also has extensive repair capabilities, including a fully equipped Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, a micro-miniature electronics repair shop, and numerous ship repair shops.

For defense, in addition to her Air Wing and accompanying vessels, Stennis has NATO RIM-7 Sea Sparrow short-range and Rolling Air Missile (RAM) surface-to-air missile systems, the Phalanx Close-in Weapons System for cruise missile defense, and the SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System.

On November 30, 1999, the Stennis ran aground in a shallow area adjacent to its turning basin as it attempted to maneuver near Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego. Silt clogged the intake pipes to the cooling systems of the nuclear reactors, causing the carrier’s two nuclear reactors to be shut down (one reactor by crew, the other automatically) for a period of 45 minutes. The Stennis was towed back to its pier for maintenance and observation for the next two days. The cleanup cost was about $2 million.

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CVN 75 Harry S. Truman


USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is the eighth Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy, named after the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. The keel was laid by Newport News Shipbuilding on November 29, 1993 and the ship was christened on September 7, 1996. HST was authorized as USS United States but her name was changed before the keel laying.

The ship is currently based at Norfolk, Virginia. The first deployment of Harry S. Truman was in Operation Southern Watch, from November 28, 2000 to May 23, 2001. The carrier deployed again for Southern Watch on December 5, 2002 and then participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, returning home May 23, 2003. The ship set out from Norfolk for the Persian Gulf on October 13, 2004, and was relieved on March 19, 2005. In competition year 2004, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award, an honor given to the most battle-ready ship in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

On September 1, 2005, in response to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Harry S. Truman set sail for the devastated U.S. Gulf Coast. Truman arrived in the Gulf Coast on September 4 and serves as the flagship for the Naval task force as a beginning is made in the long process of restoring New Orleans and the other affected areas. At this time it is not known how long Harry S. Truman will be on station or what her exact mission will be.

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CVN 76 Ronald Reagan


USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), the ninth and penultimate Nimitz-class supercarrier, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for former President Ronald Reagan.

Very few ships of the United States Navy have been named for a person who was alive at the time of the christening; the list includes Carl Vinson (CVN-70), Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), John C. Stennis (CVN-74), Bob Hope (T-AKR-300), Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), Nitze (DDG-94), Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), and George H. W. Bush (CVN-77).

The contract to build Ronald Reagan was awarded to Northrop Grumman Newport News and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 8 December 1994 and her keel was laid down on 12 February 1998. She was launched on 10 March 2001, sponsored by Ronald Reagan's wife Nancy, and commissioned on 12 July 2003, with Captain J. W. Goodwin in command. At the commissioning ceremony, Mrs. Reagan gave the ship's crew the traditional first order as an active unit of the Navy: "Man the ship and bring her to life."

President Reagan died eleven months later. At the end of the graveside services, the ship's commanding officer at that time, Navy Captain James Symonds, presented the flag that draped the former president's casket to Mrs. Reagan at her request. This was also the flag that had flown over Capitol Hill on January 20, 1981, when the president was inaugurated. Captain Symonds also presented Mrs. Reagan the flag that had been flying over the Ronald Reagan when the former president died.

Ronald Reagan displaces approximately 95,000 tons of water fully loaded and has a top speed of over 30 knots, powered by two nuclear reactors driving four screws, and can sail for 20 years before refueling. She is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall at 1,092 feet (333 m) and is 134 feet (41 m) wide at the beam and has a flight deck 252 feet (77 m) wide. The flight deck covers over 4.5 acres (18,000 m²). She carries more than 5,500 sailors and over 80 aircraft.

During her transfer from the Atlantic to the Pacific, she transitted the Straits of Magellan. Her homeport is San Diego, California.

Ronald Reagan recently left her homeport of San Diego for her maiden deployment and will conduct operations in support of the continuing war on terror. During a short stay in Brisbane, Australia an FA-18 Hornet strike fighter was unable to perform a night landing on the ships deck. The pilot ejected safely, but the US Navy has ruled out salvaging the lost fighter, a decision which has angered conservationists. This, combined with an incident involving sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan dumping garbage into Australian waters, has sparked a debate over the prospects of further US vessels being permitted to enter Australian ports.

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CVN 77 George W. H. Bush


USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) is the planned name of the tenth Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy. It is the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for former President George H. W. Bush, who was a naval aviator during World War II. She is the second United States aircraft carrier to be named after a naval aviator (USS Forrestal (CVA-59) was the first). Other naval vessels named for aviators include the frigate McClusky (FFG-41) and the destroyer Massey (DD-778), both named for aviators who flew in the Battle of Midway.

Construction began in 2001 by Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. In December 2002, it was announced that the carrier would be named after the 41st President. The George H. W. Bush is to be the final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier constructed; its successor will be CVN-78, the first of a new class. Christening is scheduled for Fall 2006 and delivery for March 2008. It is scheduled to be commissioned in 2009.

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(c) 2009 Frederic Logghe GNU Free Documentation License Birds in the sky
They look so high
This is my perfect day