Bookends, Flattops

Two very interesting things have occurred in the past few weeks when it comes to the Navy’s capital ships.

First, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the oldest-serving U.S. commissioned aircraft carrier in the world, successfully completed its 350,000th arrested aircraft landing while sailing in the South China Sea, a milestone nearly 48 years in the making.

Capt. Craig Sicola, commanding officer of Nimitz, and Cmdr. Luke Edwards, commanding officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, piloted the landing in a F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA 22 on the morning of April 22nd. 230422-N-HK462-1291 Photo By: Hannah Kantner

Nimitz is the first active U.S. Navy carrier in the Fleet to reach this milestone– even surpassing the numbers seen by Enterprise, the Forrestal, JFK, Midway, et. al. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) has the next highest total of arrested landings at 326,600.

The Navy is starting long-lead planning to defuel and dispose of Nimitz (CVN-68), with the carrier scheduled to leave service in 2026 after 51 years in the fleet.

And in a follow-up to that, the first of the new Ford-class supercarriers, CVN-78, departed Naval Station Norfolk for her first real deployment, on 2 May.

The GRFCSG consists of USS Gerald R. Ford, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).


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