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USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)



USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the third in the series of NIMITZ-class aircraft carriers, was constructed by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Newport News, Va.
Named after the late Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 50 years (1914-1965), the 100,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is the first U.S. warship to have been named for a man who was still alive. On March 15, 1980, Rep. Vinson became the first person in the history of the United States to witness a ship launched in his honor.
USS Carl Vinson was commissioned on March 13, 1982.
After extensive workups and training, the ship and its crew of close to 6,000 officers and enlisted personnel departed Norfolk, Va., on March 1, 1983, and embarked on an eight-month, around-the-world deployment. Carl Vinson steamed in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South China Sera, Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean enroute to its new homeport of Naval Air Station Alameda, California. The cruise included numerous port visits on five continents: North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
On October 29, 1983, Carl Vinson sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time as it entered San Francisco Bay. A three-month repair availability period followed the arrival.
In February 1984, it was back to sea for carrier qualifications and the following month brought extensive at-sea time for refresher training and workups. During this time, Carl Vinson received the highest marks ever awarded an aircraft carrier during an operational readiness examination.
In March 1984, the ship and crew became "San Francisco's Own," in a formal adoption ceremony. Since that time, Carl Vinson has participated in various civic projects and worked with all San Francisco Bay area Navy League Councils, the Association for Naval Aviation, Scout groups, the special Olympics organization and local high schools, cementing a strong community relationship.
During a two-week span in April 1984, in support of Fleet and Naval Air Training Command carrier qualifications, Carl Vinson operated all of the Navy's aircraft capable of masking an "arrested landing" on an aircraft carrier's flight deck, the first time this had been done in recent history.
At the end of May, 1984, Carl Vinson left Alameda for participation in RIMPAC 84, a multi-national exercise involving ships from nations including Canada, Japan, Australia the United Kingdom. The ship spent July in Alameda.
Then it was back to sea in August and September for the final testing of equipment prior to embarking on a seven-month deployment from October 13, 1984-May 24, 1985. From early January to mid-April 1985, Carl Vinson was deployed in the Indian Ocean for 107 days of continuous at-sea operations.
Carl Vinson earned its first unit award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, for operations conducted during November 1984 to May 1985. In February 1985, the ship was named by the Chief of Naval Operations as winner of the Admiral James Flatley Memorial Award for operational readiness and aviation safety for 1984.
Upon the ship's return to Alameda in May 1985, it underwent a three-month long repair and maintenance period. Carl Vinson returned to sea in October 1985 for a month-long refresher training period and again in March 1986 for workups and other operational exercises.
In May and June 1986, the ship was involved in a series of high-tempo operations that included RIMPAC 86. During this exercise, the squadrons of Carl Vinson's air wing - Carrier Air Wing 14 - set a personal record of 360 flying hours during one 24-hour period. Arriving in Alameda on July 2, the ship began preparation for deployment.
On August 12, 1986, Carl Vinson was underway once again, this time for deployed on its third deployment. The deployment set records from the beginning. On its transit west, Carl Vinson became the first aircraft carrier to operate in the Bering Sea. After conducting extensive operations in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea, the ship transited the Bering Sea once again, this time in January 1987.
Returning to Alameda in early February 1987, the carrier entered drydock at Hunters Point naval Shipyard and underwent extensive rehabilitation and modernization. Although the drydock period ended in early July, heavy maintenance work continued through August until the start of sea trials.
Following sea trials, Carl Vinson had several underway periods and workups leading to a very successful REFTRA examination in October 1987. An Advanced Training Assessment followed which was equally successful. Further workup and carrier qualifications followed in preparation for deployment which began when the carrier left Alameda on June 15, 1988.
During deployment Carl Vinson operated 185 days non-ft in the Northern Arabian Sea and was on station when the historic cease-fire took place between Iran and Iraq. The ship made port calls to Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore; Mombasa, Kenya; Pattaya Beach, Thailand and Pearl harbor, Hawaii.
After completing work-ups in 1989, the ship participated in PACEX-89, the largest military exercise since World War II. During the two-month deployment, the ship conducted exercises with two other carrier battle groups, two battleship groups and forces from all branches of the U.S. military. Upon returning to Alameda on November 9, 1989, the crew began to make preparations for WESTPAC '90.
On February 1, 1990, Carl Vinson departed NAS Alameda for an extended Western Pacific deployment. The ship earned the battle Efficiency (Battle E). Embarking on the ship were COMCARGRU Three, DESRON Nine and Carrier Air Wing 15. During the transit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Carrier Air Wing 15 conducted carrier qualifications in Southern California operating areas.
During the period of February 26 to March 18, Carl Vinson participated in Exercise Team Spirit off the Korean coast in the Sea of Japan and South China Sea, and made a two-day port visit to Sasebo, Japan.
On April 21, Carl Vinson took part in a USN/Malaysian/Thailand two-day exercise. On April 23, Carl Vinson began its fifth Indian Ocean/North Arabian Sea deployment where the ship conducted joint operations with Oman, Australian and other allied forces.
The deployment ended on July 3, 1990, as Carl Vinson sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and moored at NAS Alameda for a post-deployment standdown.
On September 15, 1990, Carl Vinson got underway for her temporary homeport of Bremerton, Washington. On September 22 that same year, the ship moored at pier three, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Bremerton, and entered drydock six in September, commencing the complex overhaul.
Carl Vinson concluded the overhaul on April 6, 1993, after the completion of Sea trials. On April 13, Carl Vinson Sailors said farewell to Bremerton and set sail for Alameda.
After returning to Alameda, the Gold Eagle began an intense nine-month work-up period which included underway time for Tailored Ship Training Availability operations, carrier qualifications and Fleet-Ex 94-1. The ship also served as the U.S. Navy centerpiece during the annual Seattle Seafair community celebration hosted several distinguished visitors including President Clinton in August.
Carl Vinson completed its sixth deployment to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf which it started on February 17, 1994. Along the way, Carl Vinson made port visits to Pearl Harbor; Yokosuka, Japan; Hong Kong; Singapore; Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates; Perth, Australia and Hobart, Tasmania. The ship returned to Alameda on August 17, 1994.
Following a long maintenance period and holiday standdown, the ship conducted Fast Cruise from February 16-17 1995, officially ending the Ship's Restricted Availability 95. On February 21, the ship began sea trials and flight deck/PALS certification.
On May 12, 1995, Carl Vinson set sail in the San Francisco Bay area with more than 10,000 families and friends for a one-day cruise. On August 18, the ship loaded on board 12 vintage W.W.II aircraft for launch during the VJ Day commemoration festivities in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On the 20th of that month, the ship set sail to Hawaii to participate in Exercise Kekoa '95 and the VJ Day Commemoration ceremony. While transiting off the coast of Waikiki, Carl Vinson launched 11 WWII warbirds from its flight deck.
September 1, 1995 saw the ship serve as reviewing platform for the International Parade of Ships and Planes. President Bill Clinton and his wife, First Lady Hillary Rodham-Clinton, visited the Gold Eagle. Carl Vinson served as the platform for President Clinton's commemoration speech to 2,000 WWII veterans. Following his speech, President Clinton and Postmaster General Marvin Runyon unveiled a new stamp series observing WWII.
In March 1996, Secretary of Defense, the Honorable William Perry, visited Carl Vinson to award Sailors for professional and personal achievement, and emphasize the importance of the ship's upcoming role as the ready carrier.
Carl Vinson departed Alameda on May 14 for its second six-month deployment to the Western Pacific/Indian Ocean/Arabian Gulf. On September 3, the ship made history when the Carl Vinson Task Group, by order of the President, launched an air attack against Iraq. F-14D Tomcat fighter aircraft assigned to CVW-14 provided escort protection for Air Force B-52s as they traveled the length of the Arabian Gulf. In less than 24 hours, Tomahawk and air-launched cruise missiles were launched against military targets in Southern Iraq. Subsequently, aircraft from the Carl Vinson began patrolling an expanded no-fly zone, which included all area right up to Baghdad.
Carl Vinson returned after the successful deployment on November 14 to Naval Air Station Alameda, representing the last home ported aircraft carrier to return there. NAS Alameda was targeted for inactivation in April of 1997 by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
In typical Carl Vinson fashion, the ship's crew reached out to the community during its last two months there, conducting food, furniture and toy drives. They also spent a day cleaning Atlantic Avenue as a goodwill gesture. The departure ceremonies were capped with a farewell reception and subsequent open house during the ship's last weekend there. Officials from San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda proclaimed 14 January 1997 as Carl Vinson Day, marking the end to the ship's stay in the area. The open house the next day drew nearly 8,000 people, despite the unusually cold weather, who turned out to get one last glimpse of the ship.
Carl Vinson then sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for the last time en route to the ship's new home port of Bremerton, Washington on January 14th. As part of the move, the ship conducted a "Noah's Ark," wherein about 100 family members, 60 guests, 900 cars and even three cats enjoyed the three day transit to Bremerton. The ship arrived to a warm welcome from the city.
On the day of the ship's arrival, mayors, county commissioners and community and business leaders from the surrounding cities recognized Carl Vinson as Bremerton's first official home ported carrier. The commanding officer received on behalf of the city keys to three cities.
Capt. David M. Crocker assumed command of Carl Vinson on January 29th. After only a few weeks on board, he started his tenure historically as the ship recovered and launched the last A-6E Intruder, ending nearly 40 years of service. The ship pulled into the Controlled Industrial Area of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) on February 14th for a six month planned incremental availability.
After starting the work, the crew learned in early April that their efforts over the past year earned recognition as the top carrier in the Pacific for 1996, and were presented the Battle "E" for only the second time in the ship's 15-year history. One week later, the ship was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for action taken in support of Operations Desert Strike and Southern Watch. The ship capped off the great year by winning the ADM Flatley Award, recognizing the Carl Vinson as the top aircraft carrier in the fleet with respect to safety.
The ship is currently scheduled to get underway in September for sea trials.
 
General characteristics
Builders Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia
Keel laid October 11, 1975
Launch March 15, 1980
Commissioned March 13, 1982
Power plant 2 nuclear reactors; capable of 20 years of service without refueling
Displacement 95,000 tons
Max. speed 30+ knots 55.6 km/h   
Number of propellers Four
Diameter of propellers 21 ft 6.4 m
Weight of propeller 66,200 lb 30,028 kg
Number of rudders Two
Weight of rudder 144,400 lb 65,000 kg
Height, keel to mast top 244 ft 74.4 m
Number of anchors Two
Weight of anchor 66,140 lb 30,000 kg
Weight of anchor chain link 360 lb 163.3 kg
Length of flight deck 1,092 ft 332.8 m
Width of flight deck 252 ft 76.8 m
Area of flight deck 4,5 acres 18,211 sq. m
Aircraft elevators Four
Aircrafts ±70  Carrier Air Wing 11
Carrier Air Wing 11 VF-213 12x F-14D Tomcat - fighter
VFA-94 12x F/A-18 Hornet - strike fighter
VFA-97 12x F/A-18 Hornet - strike fighter
VFA-22 12x F/A-18 Hornet - strike fighter
VAQ-135 4x EA-6B Prowler - electronics countermeasures
VS-29 8x S-3B Viking - antisubmarine aircraft
VAW-117 4x E-2C Hawkeye - early warning and control aircraft
HH-60H/SH-60F Seahawk - antisubmarine helicopter
Armament RIM-7 Sea Sparrow guided missiles, antimissile system Phalanx CIWS.
Miscellaneous
Fresh water daily 400,000 gallons (15,142 hl)
Number of telephones More than 2,000
Total cost Approx. $3.9 billion (1980)
Nicknames "Golden Eagle", "San Francisco's Own", "America's Favorite Carrier", "Starship Vinson"


Jirka Wagner

 

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Last updated 01.01.2017