USS John C. Stennis

Aircraft “Supercarrier” | Nimitz Class

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

General and specialized information

Name Namesake Ordered Awarded Builder
USS John C. Stennis John C. Stennis N/A June 30, 1988 Northrop Grumman Newport
Cost Laid down Sponsored by Christened Launched
$4.5 billion March 13, 1991 Margaret Jane Stennis Womble N/A November 13, 1993
Commissioned Homeport Motto Knickname Current Status
December 9, 1995 NB Kitsap, Washington, USA Look Ahead N/A Active – January 2017

General characteristics

Class and type:
  • Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
  • Theodore Roosevelt subclass
Displacement: 103,300 long tons (115,700 short tons)[2]
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:
  • 2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
  • 4 × steam turbines
  • 4 × shafts
  • 260,000 shp (194 MW)
Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Capacity: 6500 officers and crew (with embarked airwing)[1]
Complement:
  • Ship’s company: 3,200
  • Air wing: 2,480

Systems and Armament

Sensors and
processing systems:
  • AN/SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
  • AN/SPS-49(V)5 2-D air search radar
  • AN/SPQ-9B target acquisition radar
  • AN/SPN-46 air traffic control radars
  • AN/SPN-43C air traffic control radar
  • AN/SPN-41 landing aid radars
  • 4 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
  • 4 × Mk 95 radars
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
  • SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
Armament:
  • 2 × Mk 57 Mod3 Sea Sparrow
  • 2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile
  • 3 × Phalanx CIWS
Armor: Unknown
Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters
Aviation facilities:
  • catapults: 4
  • aircraft elevators: 4

USS George Washington Description

The mission of John C. Stennis and her air wing (CVW-9) is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward-deployed. The embarked air wing consists of eight to nine squadrons. Attached aircraft are Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, MH-60R, MH-60S, and E-2C Hawkeye.

The air wing can engage enemy aircraft, submarines, and land targets, or lay mines hundreds of miles from the ship. John C. Stenniss 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 John C. Stennis and consisting of four to six other ships.

John C. Stenniss two nuclear reactors give her virtually unlimited range and endurance and a top speed in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h, 34.5 mph). The ship’s four catapults and four arresting gear engines enable her to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously. The ship carries approximately 3 million US gallons (11,000 m3) of fuel for her aircraft and escorts, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment. John C. 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, John C. Stennis has NATO RIM-7 Sea Sparrow and Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) surface-to-air missile systems, the Phalanx Close-in Weapons System for cruise missile defense, and the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System.

History[edit]

The nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was contracted on 29 March 1988, and the keel was laid on 13 March 1991 at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia.

The ship was christened on 11 November 1993, in honor of Senator John Cornelius Stennis (D-Mississippi) who served in the Senate from 1947 to 1989. The daughter of the ship’s namesake, Mrs. Margaret Stennis-Womble, was the ship’s sponsor. John C. Stennis was commissioned on 9 December 1995 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va, and she conducted flight deck certification in January 1996. The first arrested landing was by a VX-23 F-14B. The ship conducted numerous carrier qualifications and independent steaming exercises off the East Coast throughout the next two years. Included among these events was the first carrier landing of an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet on 18 January 1997.

1998 – World Cruise[edit]

USS John C. Stennis (Left) and the British Invincible-class HMS Illustrious (Right) operating together, April 1998.

On 26 February 1998 with Carrier Air Wing Seven embarked, John C. Stennis left Norfolk for her maiden deployment, transiting the Suez Canal on 7 March and arriving in the Persian Gulf on 11 March 1998. The ship traveled 8020 nm in 274 hours, an average speed of 29.4 knots (54.4 km/h; 33.8 mph) to relieve USS George Washington in conducting Operation Southern Watch missions. John C. Stennis departed the Persian Gulf on 19 July 1998 for her new home port of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, arriving on 26 August 1998.

In October 1998, she entered a six-month maintenance and upgrade period at North Island, returning to sea in April 1999. During the maintenance period, a jet blast deflector collapsed, severely injuring two sailors.

On 30 November 1999, the ship ran aground in a shallow area adjacent to the turning basin near North Island. Silt clogged the intake pipes to the steam condensing systems for the nuclear reactor plants, causing the carrier’s two nuclear reactors to be shut down (one reactor by crew, the other automatically) for a period of 45 minutes. She was towed back to her pier for maintenance and observation for the next two days. The cleanup cost was about $2 million.

2000 – Persian Gulf/Pacific Ocean[edit]

On 7 January 2000, John C. Stennis deployed to the Persian Gulf to relieve USS John F. Kennedy in Operation Southern Watch. During the deployment, the ship made port visits to South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, and Pearl Harbor, before returning to San Diego on 3 July 2000.

Following the September 11 attacks, John C. Stennis conducted Noble Eagle missions off the U.S. West Coast. In 2000 and 2001, John C. Stennis was part of Carrier Group 7.

2001 – Persian Gulf[edit]

On 12 November 2001, two months earlier than scheduled, the ship left on her third deployment to the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, returning to San Diego on 28 May 2002. From June 2002 to January 2003, JCS underwent a seven-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).

2004 – Pacific Ocean[edit]

From 24 May to 1 November 2004, John C. Stennis conducted her fourth major overseas deployment, participating in Exercise Northern Edge 2004 in the Gulf of Alaska, Rim of the Pacific (RimPac) Exercise off Hawaii, exercises with Kitty Hawk off Japan and goodwill visits to Japan, Malaysia and Western Australia. Shortly after returning from deployment to San Diego, JCS changed her home port to Naval Station Bremerton, Washington on 19 January 2005. Once at Bremerton, John C. Stennis underwent an 11-month docking planned incremental availability (DPIA), the first time she had been dry-docked since commissioning. Upgrades included a new mast. The new mast’s structure is the first of its kind. A new type of steel alloy was used, making it stiffer and thicker than before. The new mast is also heavier and taller, allowing it to support new antennae the old mast would not have been able to support. Other upgrades included the installation of a new integrated bridge system in the pilothouse that will save manpower and provide state-of-the-art displays.[4][5][6][7]

Following the maintenance cycle and pre-deployment training exercises, the carrier returned to Bremerton, Washington, and the carrier was certified surge ready, meaning the ship maintained a high state of readiness in case of an unscheduled deployment.[8]

2007 – Persian Gulf[edit]

USS John C. Stennis arrives in Bremerton on 31 August 2007.

On 20 January 2007, the carrier and her group set sail for the Persian Gulf as part of an increase in US military presence. John C. Stennis arrived in the area on 19 February 2007, joining USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the United States Fifth Fleet area of operations.[9] This marked the first time since 2003 that there were two aircraft carrier battle groups in the region simultaneously.

On 23 May 2007, John C. Stennis, along with eight other warships including the aircraft carrier Nimitz and amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, passed through the Strait of Hormuz. US Navy officials said it was the largest such move since 2003.[10]

On 31 August 2007 John C. Stennis returned to Bremerton.

2009 – Western Pacific[edit]

John C. Stennis departed Bremerton for a 6-month deployment to the western Pacific on 13 January 2009. On 24 April, the ship arrived in Singapore. That same day, one of the ship’s sailors was crushed and killed while working from a small harbor boat to secure a drain that discharges oily water from the aircraft catapults.[11]

On 29 April, the ship’s executive officer, Commander David L. Burnham, was relieved by Rear Admiral Mark A. Vance over unspecified personal conduct. Burnham was reassigned to a base in San Diego, pending an investigation.[12]

After participating in exercises with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Republic of Korea, as well as joint exercise Northern Edge 2009, John C. Stennis returned from deployment in early July 2009. Carrier Air Wing 9 debarked on 6 July at NAS North Island,[13]prior to the ship’s arrival at her homeport of Bremerton on 10 July.[14]

2010 – 2011[edit]

Final flight over Iraq (18 December 2011)

On 30 March 2011, a VMFAT-101 F/A-18C Hornet suffered an uncontained catastrophic engine failure, exploded and caught fire just before launch from John C. Stennis about 100 miles (160 km) off the coast of San Diego during launch and recovery training operations. The aircraft was at full power, in tension on the catapult when the accident occurred. Eleven flight deck crewmen were injured while the pilot was unhurt. There was no major damage to the carrier but the aircraft was a total loss.[15]

On 18 December 2011, the final command-and-control mission for U.S. forces over Iraq was flown by an E-2C Hawkeye (pictured) from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112), catapulting off the carrier John C. Stennis at 7:32 am and returning at 11:04 a.m, both local time. This mission effectively ended U.S. naval support for Operation New Dawn.[16]

2012[edit]

On 3 January 2012, Iranian General Ataollah Salehi warned John C. Stennis “not to return to the Persian Gulf.”[17] The United States dismissed the warning.[18]

On 7 January, John C. Stennis led the rescue of an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, Al Mulahi, following its seizure by pirates. The pirates ambushed the ship and Iranian flag to search for other ships to hijack, while holding the original crew hostage. When some of the pirates attempted to board a Bahamian-flagged cargo ship, Sunshine, it radioed for assistance. John C. Stennis dispatched a helicopter and cruiser to assist. A boarding party captured the pirates who attacked Sunshine, fed them, then released them temporarily. A helicopter then secretly followed the pirates back to their mother ship, Al Mulahi. Crew from the destroyer USS Kidd then boarded the fishing vessel (upon permission in Urdu from the captain), and arrested all of the pirates with no casualties.[19]

On 2 March 2012, John C Stennis returned home from its 7-month deployment to homeport Bremerton, Washington.

On 7 July 2012, crew members were informed that John C. Stennis would be returning to the Middle East in August, much sooner than expected.[20][21]

On 27 August 2012, John C. Stennis departed to the Middle East originally for six months, but was extended to eight.[22]

2013[edit]

On 1 April 2013, the ship arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore. Local ITE students were invited for a guided tour inside the aircraft carrier.[23]

Following that the ship sailed to Pearl Harbor, where it performed a week long tiger cruise to San Diego [24]

At 12:45 on 3 May 2013, John C. Stennis arrived at its home port of Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington, the completion of an eight-month, 66,000 miles (106,000 km) deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. During this deployment, squadron aircraft flew more than 1,300 sorties from the carrier’s deck in the war in Afghanistan.[25]

2015[edit]

In mid-January 2015, John C. Stennis departed its home port of Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington, and arrived at Naval Magazine Indian Island to load munitions prior to departing for San Diego to receive aircraft and another 2,000 sailors.[26] On 1 September, the carrier arrived back at Bremerton, Washington.

2016[edit]

On 15 January 2016, John C. Stennis left Naval Base Kitsap for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific.[27] On 19 April she arrived to Singapore for a regularly scheduled port visit after completing an annual bilateral training exercise in the Philippines.[28] On 26 April 2016, China denied John C. Stennis permission to make a port visit to Hong Kong as well as its escort ships.[29] On 10 August, the carrier arrived back at San Diego, California.

References

  1. “USS John C. Stennis”. Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  2. Jump up^ Polmar, Norman (2004). The Naval Institute guide to the ships and aircraft of the U.S. fleet. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-59114-685-8.
  3. Jump up^ “USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)”. NavSource Online. NavSource Naval History. 18 February 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  4. Jump up^ Gethings, JO3 Chris, USN (29 January 2005). “Kitsap County Welcomes Stennis. US Navy. NNS050129-02.
  5. Jump up^ Flabi, JO3 Nick, USN (21 January 2005). Stennis Enters Dry Dock”. US Navy. NNS050121-11.
  6. Jump up^ Owens, JO2 (SW/AW) Gabriel, USN (4 May 2005). StennisRaises New Mast with Tradition”. US Navy. NNS050504-03.
  7. Jump up^ Jackson, JO1 Krishna, USN (6 September 2005). Stennis Back in the Water”. US Navy. NNS050906-06.
  8. Jump up^ Gethings, MCS2 Christopher, USN (23 July 2006). StennisReturns Home Surge Ready”. USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs. NNS060723-02.
  9. Jump up^ Christensen, Nathan (20 February 2007). “USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Arrives in 5th Fleet”. US Navy. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2007.
  10. Jump up^ Abbas, Mohammed (23 May 2007). “Nine U.S. warships in Gulf for show of force”. Reuters.
  11. Jump up^ Scutro, Andrew (29 April 2009). “Stennis sailor killed in Singapore identified”. Military Times.
  12. Jump up^ “Navy cites misconduct, relieves USS Stennis’ executive officer, No. 2 in command of carrier”. Washington Times. Associated Press. 30 April 2009.[dead link]
  13. Jump up^ Owsley, MCS1(SW) Steve (6 July 2009). “Carrier Air Wing 9 Completes 2009 Deployment”. USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs. NNS090706-15.
  14. Jump up^ “Stennis returns to Bremerton”. Navy Times. Associated Press. 10 July 2009.
  15. Jump up^ Kucher, Karen; Shroder, Susan (31 March 2011). “Two sailors remain in hospital after Stennis jet fire”. U-T San Diego.
  16. Jump up^ “USS John C. Stennis Launches Navy’s Final Air Mission over Iraq”. USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs. 20 December 2011. NNS111220-02.
  17. Jump up^ “Iran army chief warns US aircraft carrier not to return to Persian Gulf in new tough rhetoric”. The Washington Post. 3 January 2012.[dead link]
  18. Jump up^ “U.S. Dismisses Iranian Warning Against Navy Carrier in Gulf”. Fox News. 3 January 2012.
  19. Jump up^ Chivers, C. J. (6 January 2012). “For Iranians Waylaid by Pirates, U.S. to the Rescue”. The New York Times.
  20. Jump up^ Friedrich, Ed (9 July 2012). “USS Stennis going right back to Mideast”. Kitsap Sun. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012.
  21. Jump up^ Parrish, Karen (24 August 2012). “Sailors: Early Deployment Tough, but ‘We’re Needed'”. American Forces Press Service.
  22. Jump up^ “Where are the Carriers?”. GlobalSecurity.
  23. Jump up^ “Aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis docks in Singapore”. 4 April 2013.
  24. Jump up^ “Carlson Design – Tiger Cruise on the John C Stennis CVN 74 Aircraft Carrier”.
  25. Jump up^ “USS John C. Stennis is home”. Kitsap Sun. 3 May 2013.
  26. Jump up^ “UPDATE: Stennis departs Port Townsend for warmer waters”. ptleader.com. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  27. Jump up^ “USS John C. Stennis Deploys”. navy.mil. 17 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  28. Jump up^ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/us-navy-s-great-green/2712978.html
  29. Jump up^ China denies Hong Kong visit request by U.S. carrier group: Pentagon. Reuters. World | Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:51am EDT
  30. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g “COMDESRON Two One”. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  31. Jump up^ “CVW-9 (NG)”. CVW-9 (NG). go.navy.jp. Retrieved 20 January 2016.

Commissioning

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

Publisher:DEVGRU5022

Original video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKnXzjUf4N0

A transcription from the Commissioning speech is available here below for those who need it. Please keep in mind this is an automated transcription from Google – 100% accuracy is not to be expected. Thanks you for your understanding.
0:05
san diego november 2001
0:10
the carrier jhansi Stennis deploys on a half year journey
0:15
two months earlier than planned
0:18
men and women on board will spend the December holidays
0:24
this super carrier arrives for battle in mid-december in the northern Arabian Sea
0:30
it relieves another carrier to join operation enduring freedom
0:34
the first day on station a somber reminder of why these sailors and airmen
0:39
are here and why no one on this ship is complaining about the early deployment
0:43
oh say can you see this is no ordinary flag it was found in the rubble of the
0:52
World Trade Center one of the first things that we have the opportunity to
0:57
do was make the wind just right so that we could go ahead and unfurl the flag
1:03
and take the time to really reflect on the reason that we deployed early and
1:09
what we’re really all about to this too .
1:15
for many on board including the Battle Group commander Rear Admiral James short
1:20
the flag was a direct link to events that already had a personal connection
1:25
this is personal to me my last assignment before I came here I was in
1:29
the area 21 of those people that were killed in the attack in the Pentagon
1:33
worked directly for me
1:36
I went to a lot of funerals I went to a lot of memorial services and this
1:40
aircraft carriers armaments will play a key role in this phase of America’s
1:44
response to terrorism
1:54
on the flight deck of the john c stands carrier Air Wing nines launching flight
1:59
operations over Afghanistan
2:04
yeah
2:05
I’m in command here like to be
2:08
73 or so airplanes we have on board
2:11
18 and personnel that support of their plans and our job is basically to the
2:16
flying team together and go out and execute permissions were saying
2:24
we’ve got each squadron lined out here and we take the assigned time and
2:28
mission that they’re going to be going over the beach and we line it up and and
2:32
then we sign airplanes through it if you will closely at the aircraft going into
2:36
battle
2:37
you’ll see more reminder of exactly what brought them here here for teens have
2:42
instead of pilots names that have policemen and firemen’s names who were
2:45
children
2:46
World Trade Center
2:50
you’ll see some interesting emblems on airplanes leading f-18 fighter jets from
2:55
squadron 147 has the Twin Towers painted on one tail in the Pentagon on the other
3:03
we all have our little stickers from the new york police department that we stick
3:06
on the bomb and you know and deliver justice in their defense
3:09
so as well as our countrymen to work in the Pentagon you
3:12
we all had someone we knew in the Pentagon when you go to do it you know
3:15
that you’re doing something that the American people stand behind
3:19
that makes a great difference this is the ready for squadron 147 known as the
3:25
Argonauts
3:26
it’s in these ready rooms that every mission begins and ends now we could be
3:30
though
3:31
all protesting in anytime prepared for many years
3:34
commander rust night leads a pre-flight briefing he’s a veteran pilot who’s
3:40
flown 50 different aircraft
3:42
he has 19 years in the navy aircraft we can assist his wingman is actually a
3:47
wingwoman
3:48
Lieutenant Commander Sarah joint I always tell them on the little sister
3:53
they never wanted
3:54
they’re a great group if I don’t hold my own they’re going to let me know if I
3:58
told the line
4:00
going to treat you like everybody else and that’s fair these pilots are also
4:04
known by their call signs these Gladys
4:06
sheez clutch for getting ready for their first combat mission over Afghanistan
4:13
this is Marie but after this flight
4:17
both are heading to shore duty back in the States this will be their last
4:21
mission from the Stennis when I was sealed coming off this water and now i’m
4:25
heading back to another job back at home and
4:28
so this is my last flight here in the squad for Gladys this could also be the
4:32
last carrier flight of his career
4:34
the whole focus is getting a squadron ready to go to into combat and here we
4:38
are doing now it’s time for me to go but I don’t want to go
4:43
so definitely this week before every flight operation there is the fahd walk
4:49
it stands for foreign object damage the crew walks the length of the flight deck
4:54
looking for anything that isn’t tied down
4:56
even the smallest piece of debris like a screw or a tiny scrap of metal can be
5:01
sucked into an engine
5:02
the consequence could be fatal to crewman and damaging to aircraft
5:07
once the deck is clear
5:10
the men and women of air wing nine are ready to kick the tires and light the
5:15
fires
5:17
and what we’re looking at here is an ea-6b aircraft
5:21
Captain James McDonald watches over launch and recovery operations from the
5:25
bridge and of course anybody that is commanding officer of an aircraft
5:29
carrier is either a pilot or not followed by trade and been around a lot
5:34
done a lot of carrier operations
5:37
for this pilot the thrill of the launch never goes away
5:41
you watch something like that and then you’ve seen it
5:44
house between still can it’s still awesome with so little room on the
5:49
flight deck and so much noise an elaborate series of hand signals is
5:53
needed to guide the aircraft around the deck and onto a safe launch the people
5:58
in the yellow shirts are the flight deck directors who moved the blames
6:03
back forward
6:05
independence and I want to go all the way
6:07
the beginning is a catapult
6:10
heartbreak
6:12
it but dr. not fun
6:15
as big as a carrier is the runway is still too short for plane to take off
6:20
the catapult system launches the plane off the bow of the ship and into the air
6:25
there are four catapults or cats as crew members call them on the john c status
6:31
each cat is steam driven with a long shaft underneath the deck when released
6:35
the steam drives a piston down the shaft
6:38
combine that with the full power thrust from the jet engines and the aircraft
6:43
goes from zero to 150 miles per hour approximately two seconds
6:49
trouble power power power
6:52
ok
7:03
soon Gladys and clutch will be moved on to the cat to leave the ship flying into
7:10
harm’s way
7:14
yeah
7:24
yeah
7:27
yeah
7:32
night ops on the USS john c stance
7:37
on this deployment they primarily fly after dark
7:40
so the ship’s schedule is upside down the crew sleeps by day and works all
7:45
night
7:47
this is day two of wartime operations for the Stennis in Operation Enduring
7:51
Freedom
7:53
for the next 12 hours into the morning planes from the carrier will fly
7:57
missions over Afghanistan
7:59
there’s only a faint orange light on deck punctuated
8:03
by this
8:07
to adjust their eyes for night vision crew members make their way through
8:11
passageways glowing in dim red light
8:15
flight deck a walkover check for debris is lit only by flashlight
8:24
the dangers of the flight deck being blown overboard by jets sliced by
8:28
propellers or any of the other hazards that are hard enough to avoid in
8:32
daylight
8:32
are all the more intense at night
8:34
yeah
8:38
the intricate coordination of launch and recovery plays out as a dance in the
8:42
darkness
8:49
the complexity of it all has been described as a ballet and if it is a
8:53
ballet the choreographer of the flight deck is this man here he is the handler
8:58
TKO
8:59
he’s got problems there okay i’m going to want this friend . this on their
9:03
grandparents are more steps here and my job basically is to juggle all the balls
9:09
up here on the flight deck
9:10
I work with the dog which is their wings representative about nothing more
9:15
going quick he has a rep from each water on deck they’re calling in the request
9:19
guess you can go ahead and turn your parents and then i holler at the yellow
9:22
shirts and help out the set up the deck so they get their maintenance their
9:26
field or its load whatever the case may be
9:28
Ryder we have here is we board the Ouija board is they call it is a model of the
9:33
flight deck
9:34
it shows the whereabouts of each of the statuses 73 aircraft amid all of the
9:39
multimillion-dollar technology on the Stennis something simple shows the
9:44
status of each plain nuts and bolts are world famous knowledge year at all
9:49
carriers all 12 run some sort of system like this big silver is first launched
9:55
in the morning is earlier than the rest of the small so 707 second going to a
9:59
car puts which of the nuts and wearing
10:01
retaining the nuts and bolts of the handlers job involve constant
10:06
communication with the crew on the flight deck and the managers in charge
10:10
he can watch it all on TV monitors or from his window overlooking the day it’s
10:17
a belly
10:17
it’s a controlled chaos space for the family
10:21
once we start going started while the engine sir it gets a little crazy
10:25
especially these are all machines here and they don’t always cooperate with you
10:32
so that’s when it gets a little bit challenging said the world of to flip
10:36
flo ok when you flip flop them now
10:40
30 second we met me know hear him 77 and some of his shop
10:44
steady and unshaken even after an 18-hour day the handler manages every
10:49
aircraft until it hits the air
10:52
all in all about 65 flights every day
10:55
once the aircraft leaves at that it’s out of your hair that is that right
10:58
exactly
10:59
single deliveries you deliver then I’ll deliver press the low deck
11:10
dr. Ghanem in the spare want you grab it and bring it up there ok Sarah starts
11:13
the second pre-flight briefing of the night for Gladys and clock the shank
11:17
did you fly into Afghanistan last night will disappear and we’re supposed to get
11:21
canceled because a scene missing been cut back
11:24
I think this will be your first . that’s what they’ve been given the go-ahead for
11:29
a mission that begins at dawn
11:31
a couple of hours before the flight they leave the ready room to suit up for the
11:35
mission
11:44
Tina go through and on the way I dress
11:47
do you think about having
11:48
yeah
11:53
the pilots flight suit is a complete survival system with oxygen mask combat
11:58
gear and flotation devices is automatically inflated hits the water
12:02
store all your very survival ends and i’ll keep you
12:06
yeah
12:07
compass signal mirror
12:09
their batteries
12:10
I was like before
12:11
the suit also inflates to keep the blood flowing to the brain
12:16
the gravitational force orgies of flight movers
12:19
press hard on the body as the Jesus increase of it
12:26
how much does all that was good
12:28
about 45 pounds
12:30
yes I never actually waited
12:32
i would say
12:33
you feel it when your flight or did you forget about it
12:37
are you fine like I said you don’t notice it
12:42
I feel right now you just move to make it fit
12:45
you can grab are so hot
12:48
program got all sorts of things
12:50
are we going what’s your mission today close air support
12:53
it’s our treat you don’t need help them
12:56
development
12:57
commander night is too focused on his mission to reflect on the milestone
13:00
he’ll reach at the end of the mission is 900 career land right now I’m a thing
13:06
about that
13:07
think about that later
13:15
get back where you don’t think about the other things
13:18
yeah
13:21
yeah
13:23
kind of ecstatic right now that I’m just thinking
13:26
yeah
13:27
it very well could be the last time flies and lands on a carrier
13:31
that’s huge
13:32
I think the main thing you look at is if you were in his shoes right now that
13:35
would be
13:36
that’s a quite a moment that’s a great moment
13:53
while missions continue above
13:59
it’s dinner time in the mess tax it’s seven thirty in the morning first choice
14:04
is a sticker and taro and ok we’ll have one of those please
14:08
and chicken cordon bleu food service officer Gordon Keith is the man who
14:12
feeds the masses couple thousand pounds of me
14:17
yeah
14:17
meal
14:19
we go through probably about 20
14:22
thousand dollars worth of milk in animal that’s more than 600 gallons of milk
14:27
every day that 180 dozen eggs and 900 pounds of fresh fruit every day
14:35
not to mention the thousands of beings in this gigantic vat of chili
14:40
this is the album and so we are prepared about 600
14:46
can you make super for 600 people that’s are we painting thousands of people have
14:51
been
14:51
looking for this crew is a massive operation that hopes for quality and all
14:57
the quantity pricing for supplying gotta make some 5,000 people
15:05
this is the modern-day equivalent
15:09
feeling potatoes I’d say so yeah
15:13
nobody likes doing it but
15:15
got your guns
15:16
as dawn breaks over the Arabian Sea squadrons return from their night
15:24
missions landing on the carrier after some six hours in the air
15:31
first the fighter jets the f-14 Tomcat –
15:35
and the f-18 Hornet
15:39
the ordinance men or Ortiz as they’re called disarm the weapons
15:43
none of the planes on this mission have dropped any bombs
15:49
also on deck this radar jamming ea-6b prowler
15:55
this the s-3 viking its primary mission in this theater to refuel other
16:00
carrier-based planes
16:04
last on deck the search-and-rescue helicopter the Seahawk as the green
16:09
shirt maintenance crews tend to these aircraft pilots from other squadrons get
16:13
ready for the next wave of launches planes are refueled their weapons
16:18
prepared and Gladys and clutch come above deck to prep their FA teens for
16:25
launch
16:27
winds are light tower have to get it
16:33
you could try to help me I’m in a different aircraft that’s her
16:40
yeah
16:43
Gladys spots a mechanical problem and calls in maintenance
16:50
yeah
16:55
if it problems with the jet be able to work on the jet to fix it if they can’t
17:00
fix it will give another jet
17:01
everybody knows what to do he knows how to do it magically everything just keeps
17:05
happening
17:06
it’s not really magic this is a constant training that we’ve done
17:16
they’ll climb up in them now go through starts typically about a half hour prior
17:23
to the launch time and once it starts begin
17:26
airplanes are we going to check
17:29
inside the pilots are talking to one another making sure all the ordinance
17:33
and the weapons are working where they’re supposed to their programming
17:36
the insides of the phones and computers and make sure they are set up for the
17:39
missions that they have a plane captain horatio Sanchez guide Gladys’s plane
17:45
giving it a final check before launch where the first line of defense
17:50
the discrepancies I catches you may not go he might go depending on the
17:55
discrepancy you how big it is
17:57
cosmology
18:04
while Gladys waits for the all clear clutch in aircraft 407 moves toward the
18:10
catapult
18:12
Gladys has another technical problem putting his last flight in jeopardy
18:17
to stay on schedule clutch launch
18:25
along with other aircraft in the strike group while the green shirts work things
18:30
out for Gladys
18:36
yeah
18:38
finally the problem is fixed
18:43
commander night launches from a carrier for the nine hundredth time in his
18:47
career
18:48
on his first and last mission over Afghanistan
18:53
need to bring them to justice that we all really deserve to bring to
18:57
Afghanistan
18:58
good today
19:02
yeah
19:12
yeah
19:27
commander rust night and his wingman Sarah Joyner continue their mission over
19:32
the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan
19:35
the aircraft in air wing nine are directed from this center commanded by
19:39
the CAG or commander of the year
19:41
this is a keg cops or throwing up also referred to as current top so this is
19:47
where a lot of the execution is done in the planning a future plans as well are
19:52
done out of this office and you’ll see down here at nine o’clock the submission
19:56
that Gladys and clutch went out on
19:59
head up over the beach most of the information about these flights is
20:03
classified but here is generally how missions over Afghanistan work for the
20:08
first 25 miles from the carrier the aircraft will be in the airspace of the
20:11
carrier’s air traffic control center work for Rebecca correct right and we do
20:15
is we track them as they launch we vector them away from the aircraft
20:19
carrier outside of about 25 miles we turn them over to strike control which
20:23
is a combat Direction Center will continue to get checked out processed
20:26
out of our airspace and on whatever mission are going on
20:29
this is the CDC combat Direction Center where essentially we place the ship from
20:34
da kak election officer
20:37
he’s basically the captain’s representative
20:40
and makes decisions on the ship is going to do on the other side of these
20:45
monitors
20:47
section for our air intercept controllers said we’re the guys actually
20:51
control our fighters
20:56
during the six-hour flight an f-18 will need to refuel as many as four or five
21:01
times
21:02
Air Force tankers from the US and Britain patrol the skies over the
21:05
theater of operations
21:08
go get cast if they needed they could need to go several hundred miles
21:12
get gas along the way and then go into a target area
21:17
if the mission calls for the fighters will drop their ordinance the bombs that
21:22
were armed
21:23
before they left the carrier once there within 25 miles of the ship again the
21:28
carrier’s air traffic control center takes over again
21:31
down 3-0 wondering
21:35
while missions are controlled from the upper decks life on the carrier is just
21:40
as active for more than three thousand sailors who work below slice open the
21:45
ship and you see the various levels from the top of the tower known as the Island
21:49
down to the flight deck and hangar bay and deep down to the engine room from
21:54
top to bottom this tennis is more than twenty four stories tall
21:58
if you start at the top of the ship we have a whole suite of sensors and raise
22:04
up there that take care of our communications control right above is
22:10
the air boss he’s actually the traffic tower if you will for this airport that
22:15
we could
22:16
next deck down is right here the bridge and the bridge course make sure that the
22:22
aircraft carrier is going in the right direction in the right place
22:25
just beneath the flight deck is the hangar bank
22:28
you think of a hangar bay as a as a garage that’s our garage for doing
22:32
maintenance below and around the hangar bay are the mess areas where sailors eat
22:37
and birthing areas where they sleep
22:40
why let’s see these sailors have very little privacy or personal space in
22:44
which to store things
22:46
this is a typical enlisted person sleeping area and this is about the
22:49
extent of the privacy that they have a curtain that they can pull to shut out
22:54
the world as for storage each person has one stand up locker and then they have
22:59
this the area underneath their bed in here they have to store their uniforms
23:04
their clothing all of their personal effects for a six-month deployment
23:09
what is that like this kind of living in close quarters living conditions can
23:12
definitely be difficult
23:14
it’s it’s one of the sacrifices that were making it’s difficult to get alone
23:21
time and everybody needs their alone time
23:23
go deeper down in the ship and you reach other areas that keep this place humming
23:28
we have a whole way of things from engineering auxiliary is to manufacture
23:34
at the bottom of the ship the engine room and storage tanks for water and
23:40
gentlemen
23:41
got a huge reservoir fool got three little over three and a half million
23:47
gallons of jet fuel on board to service these thirsty aircraft after missions
23:54
that can last more than six hours in the air
23:56
the aircraft come home the flight deck of the john c Stennis is ready for
24:01
recovery aircraft returning to the carrier have to land on a runway that is
24:06
brutally short the entire landing area is only about 450 feet long
24:12
the aircraft is traveling approximately 150 miles per hour
24:18
arresting here on the deck make the landing possible
24:23
basically it’s a controlled crash that arresting gear is made up of four cables
24:29
strung across the flight deck a tail hook dangles from the rear of the
24:34
aircraft as the plane hits the deck
24:38
the tailhook snags the cable bring it to a dead stop in less than three seconds
24:45
the tailhook has been around since the earliest carrier landings and the
24:50
process of recovering aircraft has been refined and perfected over decades of
24:55
trial and error
24:58
the pilot is guided to landing by the landing signal officer or lso they also
25:03
rate each trap as these arrested landings are called any of the four
25:08
cables will stop the plane but ideally a pilot will trap the third cable
25:12
the runway is simply too short to handle a landing without the wires which is why
25:17
pilots gun their engines to full power as soon as their wheels hit the deck
25:22
if they miss the wires it’s a touch and go and they speed off to try again
25:27
this they called the bolt
25:34
the LSO’s rate landing by which wire a pilot traps along with other criteria
25:38
like how level the wings are on approach the best a pilot can do a great of okay
25:44
from the LSO lower marks work against their career average most of the
25:49
airplanes can latch of an automatic landing system that that will land the
25:54
airplane for you
25:57
most of the pilots really don’t like it they trust themselves much more than a
26:02
trustee equipment
26:03
this is in broad daylight it gets a little hairier at night and in bad
26:07
weather
26:08
most of the pilots will probably tell you that they’ve got to come land at
26:12
night
26:13
that’s as stressful if not more than you know actually dropping ordinance not to
26:19
sit
26:19
not good at landing but you know that’s it
26:22
at the end of it you’re tired you’ve got the leftover adrenaline rush
26:27
the amount of tension in each one of the wires is controlled by the people in
26:32
this room this is one of the arresting gear engine rooms
26:35
the cables are attached to huge hydraulic engines that slow the cable as
26:40
it spools out 350 feet here what happens is soon as we get the weight of the
26:49
aircraft
26:50
it’s set
26:52
your dick edge of soft cops i will tell us at about a quarter mile out that the
26:57
aircraft is in the groove and then you’ll say ramp and that’s when it gets
27:02
right over the flight it
27:09
commanders Gladys and clutch are about to return from their first mission over
27:16
Afghanistan for Russ Gladys Knight it will mark a major milestone in a naval
27:21
aviators career
27:22
it will be his 900th carrier landing and it could be the last of his career
27:37
yeah
27:44
motto of the Stennis is look ahead but here in the folks so there’s also a link
27:49
to the past the 30-ton anchors at the end of this anchor chain actually came
27:54
from another decommission US Navy carrier the USS Forrestal
28:01
once disaster just like a US Navy ship since world war two turns the
28:05
supercarrier Forrestal into a floating Holocaust in July 1967 on the USS
28:11
Forrestal a rocket accidentally fired from a fighter jet struck another plane
28:15
on board
28:16
knocking off a fuel tank and a thousand-pound bomb flames race from
28:21
plane to plane fed by bombs rockets and bullets to fire range for 12 hours
28:25
stores of sailors were trapped in crowded sleeping quarters beneath red
28:29
top decks the incident led to several safety changes in the Navy and it’s a
28:34
vivid reminder of how dangerous a carrier can be
28:42
we have an at-sea fire party drill going here and it’s something we do every day
28:46
keeps our primary responders sharpened into there’s only so far you can go on a
28:53
ship and you can’t you can’t run away from the fire berries or so are our
28:57
biggest concern is the smoke or whatever hazard associated with casual spread
29:02
around the ship and started to kill same headed on their way to the sea
29:06
all throughout the ship we have petroleum products running throughout
29:10
throughout the piping that’s going overhead we have electricity
29:13
high-voltage electricity hazardous material in a given month of constant
29:19
operations and seeing combat operations like we are right now you’re going to
29:22
see one or two or maybe three actual calves that it should fit into the
29:26
boards
29:27
just like every marine rifleman every sailor firefighters and when there are
29:33
casualties the ship is ready
29:35
the sick bay has fully equipped operating rooms you can do any surgery
29:40
imagine we even have complete laparoscopic we’ve been out here
29:45
nothing happened we’ve done i think 24 surges
29:49
for the citizens of the floating city of status there are a few hometown
29:53
amenities that keep life on an even keel the library where sailors can e-mail
29:59
home
30:00
the barbershop with 250 haircut served daily the post office chock full of
30:06
holiday gifts from home
30:10
with a crew of five thousand
30:12
a dirty clothes and pile up fast colossal washers and dryers are kept
30:17
spinning 24 hours a day
30:20
much laundry is generated every night on this tennis we’ll take a look inside
30:25
this room
30:27
66
30:29
laundry every day on this ship
30:32
one of these bags containing
30:36
and to keep fit there’s a weight training room
30:40
and the hangar deck Phil’s double duty as aerobics studio and boxing ring
30:46
keeping the crew in fighting shape
30:53
part of getting the proper flood the entire crazy old get your local time to
30:58
get them goggles down as they ready to recover some aircraft
31:01
the handler prepares the flight deck for a new round of aircraft recovery pilots
31:07
Gladys and clutch are inbound and remember aircraft 407 that’s that washed
31:13
out there were gonna park
31:16
vector and then a scene 04 07 is going to throw that in there
31:22
fuck Thank You lieutenant commander Sarah Joyner known as clutch is about to
31:29
experience a Navy tradition and honor of her last flight with the squadron highly
31:34
out of 407 is leading the squadron commander Russ night
31:44
callsign glass in the groove a quarter mile at
31:49
traps the wire for a remarkable
31:55
Navy career
32:02
a few minutes later clutch brings aircraft 407 on the deck
32:12
the board jhansi Stannis good morning this the captain commander night
32:18
callsign Gladys what it is 900 trap and his last trap board John sees tennis at
32:25
least for this trip over an aircraft number 401
32:28
I know that you and Sarah Joyner conducted your last flight and Godspeed
32:32
to both you’ve been awesome shipmates would love to see it through this
32:38
deployment they know that they have other things in a professional and
32:41
personal lives they’ve been relieved but they won’t be replaced Russia’s a
32:49
wonderful pilot and wonderful
32:52
human being and it’s almost impossible to overstate how significant this
32:58
services
32:59
he routinely touches several hundred why
33:04
the more they do not fire their weapons during a six-hour lon mission
33:11
that’s sort of good news because that means that we’re getting to the point
33:14
when we don’t have to do that so we can move on and take care of the rest of the
33:18
thing i’m using for it
33:23
every time you finish up with the squatter they pretty much they do what’s
33:27
called based their wedding down and for water
33:30
oh yeah
33:31
if we will probably on in the States we pop some champagne or something then see
33:36
off or on the boat sir
33:39
well actually really good I had a i love problem with the aircraft didn’t have
33:45
any cooling so it was about a hundred degrees
33:49
so of all the things that they could have done at that point getting doused
33:52
goes
34:01
the final flight in the squadron
34:04
this is always an emotional
34:09
you just don’t wake up one day and say GM i’m not going to be flying an f-18
34:15
off of a carrier deck
34:18
it’ll take her a few days for that really – sinking
34:25
it’s an emission worth doing I’d say overall it’s a it’s a good nervous thing
34:31
you should feel proud to be
34:33
yeah
34:38
Warren you know I think we’re doing a good job of it and it’s all because of
34:42
this whole team of the carrier and the air wing and the sailors and the
34:45
Airedales and everybody working together and make this
34:49
welcome
34:51
yeah
34:53
there’s one more item before they do a final debrief for the day
34:56
a rating on their traps from the landing signal officers
35:02
I’ll just write on cell in the middle
35:07
panel at work
35:09
all seven
35:10
the low start to a friend to come on the milk I come now
35:14
his death around you okay
35:19
yeah
35:19
great
35:21
punch
35:23
nice
35:24
put it right there wet just
35:26
damn
35:28
yeah
35:30
you’re fine
35:34
and with that these pilots will call it a night it’s the middle of the day
35:40
yeah
35:58
adrenaline is high on the flight deck of this carrier at war
36:04
soon after dawn on this fourth day confirmation of the ships for striking
36:09
fourth day of combat operations today for fruit for the air wing
36:18
and the ship team here we had f-14 aircraft drop laser-guided bombs f-18
36:24
strip joint direct attack munitions rj damn weapons in eastern Afghanistan
36:30
today
36:30
this is the first of an unknown number of strikes will conduct during our watch
36:36
an operation enduring freedom will come back by five minutes
36:40
and feeling pretty good about it but it is a business of a somber event that
36:44
they’re going through out here but the biggest thing you’re seeing is the
36:47
intensity the fighter jets drop their ordinance in a coordinated attack on a
36:53
convoy near the Afghan city of Coast the Pentagon says the convoy was Taliban and
36:59
al-qaeda troops there was an attack on a convoy of the leadership that was
37:06
identified through very said intelligence means that was done in less
37:10
than four hours but the strikes proved controversial local Afghans in the
37:16
convoy say was a group of elders on their way to the inaugural ceremony for
37:20
interim Afghan leader
37:22
Karzai analyst now believe some tribal warlords may have taken advantage of
37:27
American firepower
37:28
by accusing rival leaders of being Taliban and miss guiding us intelligence
37:34
you know the consequence of injuring or hurting somebody who is either friendly
37:38
or not participate in combat is it
37:41
this is very difficult to do and we go to extreme details and do a lot of
37:48
training as well to make sure that that doesn’t happen
37:50
we have dropped ordinance today and I’m sure we’ll continue to drop ordinance
37:55
and do it with precision do it with accuracy and do it on call when needed
38:05
first time every time
38:13
as the john c Stennis nears the end of its first week of operations in the
38:17
Arabian Sea
38:19
christmas is only a few days away
38:24
no acquire reverses in the chapel for a Christmas event for the crew
38:28
it’s just another work day their first day off
38:31
won’t be for another three weeks it’s another day for me
38:36
look at a calendar
38:39
I stay busy at work
38:44
mate second class but there are other chances for the ship together like this
38:50
moment of pride to honor sailors who burned a promotion in rank
38:54
it’s called a fracking ceremony sense of respect and human dignity i think that
39:01
you’ll agree as you walk around his food is there because if they take care of
39:06
one another
39:06
the whole community comes together they fall together as a team or they win
39:12
together as a team and I always encourage them to take care of
39:15
themselves
39:16
because if they don’t take care of themselves then it kind of all falls
39:20
apart at the seams
39:22
last time we saw this sailor he was washing dishes in the gallon now it’s
39:29
been promoted and pilots
39:32
Sarah clucks joiner and Russ lattice night say their final goodbyes
39:37
oh my god with now
39:39
before boarding the cargo flight of the USS Dennis they’ll be home in time for
39:46
Christmas
39:48
I’ve been here for four and a half years and it’s probably time to go but i’m
39:53
going to miss some they’re pretty much my family right now but my family away
39:56
from my family
39:59
savory
40:04
seconds before the door closes this is the best time of my life
40:08
you know 19 years in the Navy has been the best of my life
40:15
yeah
40:17
yeah
40:21
yeah
40:26
for the rest of the crew there’s five more months to go in this deployment
40:31
and no one knows how long America’s new war on terrorism will keep the USS john
40:35
c Stennis engaged in battle
40:39
on highest alert
40:41
as a carrier
40:42
yeah
40:45
continue with the pride and the professionalism was shown to date
40:48
we can’t do anything but be successful
40:51
please make sure you take care of your ship take care of yourselves and take
40:56
care of your shipmates
41:06
yeah
41:29
yeah

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USS Carl Vinson CVN-70