USS Nimitz

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USS Nimitz at sea near Victoria, British Columbia
History
Ordered: 31 March 1967
Laid down: 22 June 1968
Launched: 13 May 1972
Commissioned: 3 May 1975
Decommissioned: expected 2033
Reclassified: CVN-68
Homeport: NS San Diego, California
Motto: Teamwork, a Tradition
Nickname(s): "Old Salt"
Fate: Template:Ship fate box active in service
General characteristics
Displacement: Template:Nimitz class aircraft carrier displacement
Length:
  • Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
  • Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
Beam:
  • Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
  • Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
Draft:
  • Maximum navigational: 37 feet (11.3 m)
  • Limit: 41 feet (12.5 m)
Propulsion:
Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Complement:
  • Ship's company: 3,532
  • Air wing: 2,480
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Armament: Template:Nimitz class aircraft carrier armament I
Armor: Unknown
Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier in the United States Navy, the lead ship of its class. It is one of the largest warships in the world. It was laid down, launched and commissioned as CVAN-68, but was redesignated CVN-68 (nuclear-powered multimission aircraft carrier) on 30 June 1975 as part of the fleet realignment of that year.

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. Captain Michael Manazir assumed command of the Nimitz on 16 March 2007.


Ship's history

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, having spent 144 days at sea.

The ship was featured in the 1980 science fiction film, The Final Countdown.

In the following year, one of Nimitz's EA-6B Prowlers crash-landed on its flight deck, killing 14 crewmen and injuring 45 others. The crash happened when the USMC airplane came in high and right, missing the last arresting cable by several feet, while ignoring a wave-off command. Forensic testing indicated several of the deceased enlisted crewman tested positive for marijuana while the officers onboard the crashed plane were never tested, putting the blame for the accident on the deck crew instead of the pilot. The "official" determination was that the accident was the result of drug abuse by the enlisted crewmen of the Nimitz, this conclusion coming despite the fact that every death occurred in the impact of the crash and not one crewmember was killed fighting the fire. Due to this incident, then President Ronald Reagan instituted the "Zero Tolerance" policy across all of the armed services - which started the mandatory drug testing of all US service men and women.[citation needed]

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 with no US losses.

In 1985, two Lebanese Shiite Muslim gunmen hijacked TWA Flight 847, carrying 153 passengers and crew, including many Americans. In response, Nimitz was ordered to the Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Lebanon, where it remained until August.

Nimitz departed Norfolk, Virginia for the Mediterranean on 30 December 1986. After four months and numerous port visits Nimitz left the Med and crossed the equator enroute to a port visit in Rio de Janeiro. From Rio she proceeded south around Cape Horn and into the Pacific. After a brief stop in San Diego, California to offload the air wing, Nimitz arrived at her new homeport of Bremerton, Washington on 30 June 1987.

During the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea the Nimitz operated off the coast of South Korea to provide security.

On October 29, 1988 Nimitz began operating in the North Arabian Sea, participating in the Operation Earnest Will.

On 30 November 1988, a 20mm cannon onboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) accidentally fired on an A-7 Corsair aircraft during maintenance while the ship was conducting operations in the Arabian Sea. Six other aircraft were set on fire and there were two casualties{One sailor killed Nov 30, 1988, and another died Dec 2, 1988 from injuries sustained in that fire. USS NIMITZ WestPac Cruisebook 1988-89} reported as a result.

On 25 February 1991 departed Bremerton, Washington to relieve Ranger in Operation Desert Storm, returning herself on 24 August 1991.

It deployed again to the Persian Gulf for several months in 1993, relieving Kitty Hawk during Operation Southern Watch.

In March 1996, it 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 Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) that lasted until 25 June 2001. It then changed home port to San Diego, California, arriving there on 13 November 2001.

File:FurmanPhotoNimitz.jpg
Nimitz departing North Island, 2 April 2007

In January 2002, Nimitz began a four-month Post-Shakedown Availability at Naval Air Station, North Island. It ended its pier-side availability in May 2002 and conducted sea trials, the first step in preparation for her overseas deployment.

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 5 November 2003 where it underwent regularly scheduled maintenance and repair.

After the repairs and maintenance were completed the ship and her crew conducted sea trials testing

Nimitz set sail on another deployment to the Persian Gulf in May 2005 and returned on 8 November 2005

Capt. Michael Manazir relieved Capt. Ted N. Branch on March 16 2007.

Nimitz departed North Island in San Diego on April 2, 2007 at 9:50 a.m. on a six-month deployment in the Arabian Sea, relieving the Norfolk, VA.-based USS Eisenhower. The Nimitz reached Chennai, India on July 2nd 2007 as part of efforts to expand bilateral defense cooperation between India and United States.[1] Sailors of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier participated in community work in Chennai during its station there. Nimitz left Indian shores on July 5, 2007 along with the USS Pinckney and headed towards The Persian Gulf. Nimitz returned to North Island in San Diego on September 30, 2007

On January 18, 2008, it was announced that the Nimitz would deploy on January 24 to the Pacific for a surge-deployment[2].

On the morning of February 9 2008 controversy was caused when two Russian bombers of the type TU-95 flew directly above USS Nimitz in the Western Pacific. According to the US Department of Defense, one of the two aircraft was said to have flown above the Nimitz at an altitude of 2,000 feet. As a reaction, four F-18 were launched when the bombers were 500 miles away from the U.S. ships, and intercepted the bombers 50 miles south of the Nimitz. Two F/A-18s trailed one bomber, which buzzed the deck of the Nimitz twice, while the other two F/A-18s trailed another TU-95 circling about 50 miles away from the Nimitz. The fighters then proceeded to guide the Russians away from USS Nimitz. Reportedly, there was no radio communication between the American and Russian aircrafts. At the same day, Russian bombers entered Japanese airspace, which caused the Japanese to raise protest at the Russian ambassador in Tokyo[3].

Nimitz Carrier Battle Group

The USS Nimitz is part of Carrier Strike Group 11 (CSG-11) with Carrier Air Wing 11 embarked, with Nimitz as the flagship of the battle group and the home of the commander of Destroyer Squadron 23.

Ships of DESRON-23

Squadrons of CVW-11

  • Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
  • Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
  • Strike Fighter Squadron 81 (VFA-81)"Sunliners"
  • Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232) "Red Devils"
  • Electronic Attack Squadron 135 (VAQ-135) "Black Ravens"
  • Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117 (VAW-117)"Wallbangers"
  • Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 6 (HS-6) "Indians"
  • Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Detachment 4 (VRC 30)"Providers"

References

See also

External links

Maritimequest USS Nimitz CVN-68 Photo Gallery

  • Texas Navy hosted by The Portal to Texas History. A survey of the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution and the Republic Era. Includes maps, sketches, a list of ships of the Texas Navy, and a chronology. Also includes photographs of 20th century U.S. Navy ships named after Texans or Texas locations. See photos of the USS Nimitz.