This week in the Med saw something that hasn’ happened since 2016, two full Carrier Strike Groups, CSG 3 (USS John C. Stennis) and CGS 12 (USS Abraham Lincoln), steam together in formation. It is a beautiful sight.
RT, which is a branch of Russian state-controlled media, was quick to repeat statements by the US ambassador to Moscow, Jon Huntsman, descibiing the gathering as “200,000 tons of diplomacy.” The network then towed the Putin line and blasted the statesman as “unabashedly endorsing military show-offs as a political tool.”
Three Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) are pierside at Naval Air Station North Island. (U.S. Navy photo 150612-N-NI474-228 by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young/Released).
The Navy likes to call the big Nimitz class carriers “4.5 acres of sovereign and mobile American territory,” or “90,000-tons of diplomacy.”
Pictured is very nearly more active front-line aircraft carrier deck space than in the rest of the world combined.
April 18, 2002: Naval vessels from five nations sail in parade formation for a rare photographic opportunity at sea in the Mediterranean. US Navy Photo 020418-N-1587C-030 by U.S. Navy/PH3 Alta I. Cutler.
In four descending columns, from left to right: Italian frigate ITS Maestrale (F 570), French destroyer De Grasse (D 612); Nimitz-class supercarrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), French nuclear powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91), French frigate Surcouf (F 711); Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG-73), Royal Navy amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean (L12), USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), Italian destroyer ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne (D560); and Dutch frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F 831).