11 Months Underway

Ships assigned to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group sail in formation with Indian navy ships during a cooperative deployment in the Indian Ocean, July 20, 2020. Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Donald R. White, Jr. VIRIN: 200720-N-MY642-0207M

From DOD:

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is returning after operations in U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility. It was the first carrier strike group to deploy under COVID-19 protocols. By the time the carrier strike group reaches home, the sailors and Marines aboard will have been gone for 321 days.

The Nimitz, the cruiser USS Princeton, and the destroyers USS Sterett and USS Ralph Johnson made up the group. 

Overall, the carrier strike group steamed more than 87,300 nautical miles during its deployment. The carrier launched 10,185 sorties totaling 23,410 flight hours logged.

I’m not sure the value of wearing out ships and crew on year-long deployments when there are no major conflicts underway, but you damned sure don’t see other fleets able/willing to pull off this type of crap, which is a statement of deterrence all its own, I suppose. 

Of note, Nimitz is our oldest active warship in fleet service– and the oldest commissioned aircraft carrier in the world–  slated to celebrate the 46th anniversary of her commissioning in May. Princeton is no spring chicken either, as the early Tico left Pascagoula for the fleet in 1989.

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