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definition - USS_Carl_Vinson_(CVN-70)

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USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)

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USS Carl Vinson returning home following support of Operation Enduring Freedom
Career (United States)
Name:USS Carl Vinson
Namesake:Carl Vinson
Ordered:5 April 1974
Builder:Newport News Shipbuilding
Laid down:11 October 1975
Launched:15 March 1980
Commissioned:13 March 1982
Homeport:NS Norfolk, Virginia
Motto:Vis Per Mare
(Strength from the Sea)
Nickname:Starship Vinson,
The Gold Eagle,
San Francisco's Own,
America's Favorite Carrier,
Chuckie V,
U.S.S. Chuck Wagon,
The Carl Prison,
Cell Block 70
[citation needed]
Status:in active service, as of 2010
General characteristics
Class and type:Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
Displacement:Approximately 101,000 long tons (103,000 t) full load
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:Essentially unlimited distance; 20 years
Complement:Ship's company: 3,200
Air wing: 2,480
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
and 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
Aircraft carried:90 fixed wing and helicopters

The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) is the third United States Navy Nimitz class supercarrier and is named after Carl Vinson, a Congressman from Georgia. Carl Vinson's callsign is "Gold Eagle".



A member of the United States House of Representatives for fifty years, Carl Vinson was, for twenty-nine years, the Chairman of the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee.


Carl Vinson is 1,092 ft (333 m) long, 257 ft (78 m) wide and is as high as a twenty-four-story building, at 244 feet (74 m). The super carrier can accommodate approximately 80 aircraft and has a flight deck 4.5 acres (18,000 m²) in size, using four elevators that are 3,880 ft² (360 m²) each to move planes between the flight deck and the hangar bay. With a combat load, Vinson displaces almost 97,000 tons and can accommodate 6,250 crewmembers. Her four distilling units can make 400,000 U.S. gallons (1,500 m³) of potable water a day; her food service divisions serve 18,000 meals per day. There are over 2,500 compartments on board requiring 2,520 tons (2.1 MW) of air conditioning capacity (enough to cool over 2,000 homes). The warship uses two Mark II stockless anchors that weigh 30 tons each, with each link of the anchor chain weighing 360 pounds (160 kg). She is currently equipped with three 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts and 2 Sea Sparrow SAM launchers. The ship cost over $4.5 billion in 2007 dollars to manufacture.[1]


Two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors are used for propulsion (the ship is capable of steaming more than three million miles before refueling) turning 4 five-bladed screws that weigh 66,220 pounds (30 t) each driving the ship at speeds over 30 knots (56 km/h).[1]


Carl Vinson has been the recipient of numerous awards, including:

Ship Seal

Seal of USS Carl Vinson.

The seal of USS Carl Vinson shows an eagle, wings spread and talons extended, carrying a banner in its beak. The eagle is emblematic of the nation and the ship's motto, and also represents the power that resides in the ship's aircraft. The eagle flies in the form of a stylized letter "V," the initial of the ship's namesake, Congressman Carl Vinson. The "V" also represents the ship's hull when viewed bow-on. Inscribed on the banner the eagle carries is the Latin Phrase "Vis Per Mare" which means "Strength from the Sea." [1]

Ship history

Pre-commissioning and construction

The keel was laid at Newport News Shipbuilding on 11 October 1975, and on March 15, 1980 the ship was launched/christened. Congressman Carl Vinson became the first person in the history of the United States Navy to witness a ship's launching in his honor. After builder sea trials, she was delivered to the Navy on 26 February 1982.

Commissioning 1982

USS Carl Vinson is commissioned on March 13, 1982 at Newport News, Virginia, with Captain Richard Martin commanding. Present were the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman, Keynote speaker Senator John Tower, and ship's sponsor Molly Snead. After commissioning, USS Carl Vinson put to sea to conduct flight deck certifications, an evolution designed to test the ship’s ability to conduct Modern US Navy carrier air operations. That was followed by numerous at sea periods for various training evolutions along the East Coast.[1]

Maiden deployment 1983

Carl Vinson departed Norfolk on 1 March 1983 with Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8) embarked for her maiden deployment, an eight-month around the world cruise to her new homeport of Naval Air Station Alameda, California, arriving on Oct. 28, 1983.[1]

Second deployment 1984-85

Carl Vinson participated in RIMPAC '84 before departing on 14 October 1984 for an overseas deployment in the Western Pacific. Carrier Air Wing Fifteen (CVW-15) was embarked. From January until April 1985, Carl Vinson was in the Indian Ocean for 107 consecutive days. The WESTPAC deployment included Sea of Japan operations while pursuing a Soviet CHARLIE I submarine in the Indian Ocean.[3]

The carrier received its first Meritorious Unit Commendation for operations conducted from November 1984 to May 1985. In February, the Chief of Naval Operations named Carl Vinson the winner of the Admiral James H. Flatley Memorial Award for operational readiness and aviation safety for 1984.

Third deployment 1986-87

On 12 August 1986 the ship departed Alameda for a western Pacific deployment, again with CVW-15 aboard, and in the process became the first modern U.S. aircraft carrier to operate in the Bering Sea. In January 1987, after operating extensively in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea, Carl Vinson transited the Bering Sea once more while returning to NAS Alameda.[4]

Fourth deployment 1988

Carl Vinson and CVW-15 departed for the ship's fourth overseas deployment on 15 June 1988. While on station the carrier supported Operation Earnest Will, the escort of U.S. flagged tankers in the Persian Gulf. The carrier returned to the States on 16 December 1988 and was awarded the Admiral Flatley Memorial Award for aviation safety for 1988.

On 18 September 1989 the carrier departed Alameda to participate in PACEX '89, the largest peacetime naval exercise since the Second World War. During the exercise Carl Vinson operated in the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands, eventually leading a three carrier battle group operation in the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Carl Vinson had a port call in Pusan, South Korea and then returned to its home port of Alameda shortly after the devastating 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.[5]

Fifth deployment 1990

Vinson departed on her fifth deployment (again with CVW-15) on 1 February 1990, the last deployment for the A-7 Corsair. The ship returned to Alameda on 9 September 1990. On 22 September 1990, Carl Vinson entered the yards at Bremerton Naval Station, Washington for a 28-month complex overhaul (COH). The carrier received its first COMNAVAIRPAC Battle "E" award for 1990.[6]

Sixth deployment 1994

File:CVW14 aircraft 1994.JPEG
CVW-14 aircraft over Vinson in 1994

On 17 February 1994 the carrier, with Carrier Air Wing Fourteen embarked, departed for the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. The carrier returned to Alameda on 17 August 1994, receiving its third Admiral Flatley Award for aviation safety.

In 1995, a documentary entitled "Carrier: Fortress at Sea" was aired on the Discovery Channel, which chronicled the carrier's six month-long voyage to and from the Persian Gulf.

From 26 August until 3 September 1995, Vinson participated in Exercise Ke Koa, as well as ceremonies to commemorate the end of World War II in the Pacific. During these ceremonies, President Bill Clinton visited the ship in Hawaii. As part of the commemoration ceremonies, Vinson launched 12 WWII era planes.[7]

Seventh deployment 1996

The ship departed for its seventh deployment 14 May 1996, heading for the Persian Gulf with CVW-14 in support for Operation Southern Watch and Operation Desert Strike. The ship also participated in Exercise Rugged Nautilus before returning to Alameda on 14 November 1996.

With the closing of Naval Air Station Alameda, the ship was transferred to Bremerton, Washington, arriving at her new homeport on 17 January 1997, where she played host to the last carrier launch and recovery operations for the A-6E Intruder.[8]

Eighth deployment 1998

Carl Vinson departs Pearl Harbor with CVW-11 aboard

In 1998 with Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) embarked, the ship participated in RIMPAC '98 before departing for the Persian Gulf, launching airstrikes on 19 December 1998 in support of Operation Desert Fox and Operation Southern Watch. These strikes continued into March 1999. In July 1999, Carl Vinson was drydocked in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for 11 months as the Navy spent more than $230 million dollars to upgrade the ship. Post refit shakedowns continued into 2000.[9]

Ninth deployment 2001-02

On 23 July 2001, again with CVW-11 embarked, Carl Vinson steamed from Bremerton, Washington, bound for the Persian Gulf to support Operation Southern Watch. This changed abruptly on 11 September 2001, as the ship was rounding the tip of India. In response to the terror attacks on U.S. soil, Vinson changed course and sped toward the North Arabian Sea, where on 7 October 2001, Vinson launched the first airstrikes in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.[10] For 72 days, Vinson, along with Carrier Wing 11, launched over 4,000 combat sorties in the War on Terror, earning the ship the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Vinson earned the Battle E and Navy Unit Commendation during this deployment. In mid December, Vinson began the return trip home, stopping over at Changi Naval Base, Singapore for Christmas before reaching the U.S. on 23 January 2002. In April, the ship was overhauled, setting sail in September for a post-refit shakedown. During this time several new operational systems were installed, and the ship’s flight deck and catapults were completely renovated. Numerous other spaces and crew living areas were also entirely restored, drastically improving working and living conditions for the crew. Completing her maintenance / overhaul period in record-setting time, USS Carl Vinson and crew set sail in September to conduct sea trials.[11]

Tenth deployment 2003

In January 2003 she was set for a one month work up for Flight Deck Quals with Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) embarked. Due to the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom the ship was extended at sea indefinitely. After 9 months (Sept 2003) Carl Vinson finally returned to Bremerton on 15 September 2003.[12] From January 2003 until September 2003, she made port calls in Hawaii, Guam, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.[13] USS Carl Vinson’s participation in Foal Eagle, an annually scheduled joint and combined training exercise conducted in the Korean theatre.

Eleventh deployment 2005

In competition year 2004, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award, awarded to the most battle-ready ship in the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

In January 2005, Carl Vinson departed Bremerton, Washington with CVW-9 embarked for a six month deployment, including several months in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.[14] Highlights of the cruise included port calls to Singapore, Guam, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Rhodes, Greece and Lisbon, Portugal.[15] Vinson completed this deployment at Naval Station Norfolk on July 31, 2005.[16]

Refueling and Complex Overhaul 2005

In November 2005, Carl Vinson became the third Nimitz class carrier to undergo a mid-life Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH), which was scheduled to last 36 months.[17] The ship moved out of dry dock to pierside berth at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard in May 2007.[18]

She commenced post-refueling sea trials on 28 June 2009 and returned to Naval Station Norfolk on 1 July 2009.[19] The Navy accepted her back into the fleet on 11 July 2009, after successful completion of her sea trials.[20]

In October 2009, Carl Vinson entered a four-month shipyard maintenance period at Northrup Grumman Newport News in preparation for her upcoming transit to the Pacific in the spring.[21] The ship was scheduled to transit around South America[21] to her new home of NAS North Island (San Diego), joining the Nimitz (CVN-68) and Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), by early 2010.[22].

Carrier Strike Group 1

In October 2009, The Navy announced that Carl Vinson would be the flagship of the newly established Carrier Strike Group 1, based in San Diego.[23] The ship, under the command of Captain Bruce H. Lindsey, departed Norfolk for San Diego on January 12, 2010. Accompanying the carrier was Carrier Air Wing Seventeen, Destroyer Squadron 1 and the guided missile cruiser Bunker Hill.[24]

2010 Haiti earthquake

Vinson off Haiti, to aid in earthquake relief; the ship carried 19 helicopters specially for this mission.

On 13 January 2010, the day after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Carl Vinson was ordered to redirect from its current deployment in the North Atlantic Ocean to Haiti to contribute to the relief effort as part of Operation Unified Response. Upon receiving orders from USSOUTHCOM, the Carl Vinson battle group proceeded to Mayport, Florida where the ships loitered offshore to receive additional supplies and helicopters. The ships arrived off Port au Prince on 15 January 2010 to commence operations.[25][26][27] In addition to providing medical relief, CVN-70's excess desalination capacity has been critical to providing water to Haiti's population during the earthquake relief.[28]

Popular culture

See also

United States Navy portal
Military of the United States portal


  1. ^ a b c d e http://www.cvn70.navy.mil/
  2. ^ http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=18045
  3. ^ G.D. O'Brien, Jr (30 November 1988). "1985 COMMAND HISTORY" (PDF). http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/c/cvn-70/1985.pdf. 
  4. ^ http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/c/cvn-70/1987.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/c/cvn-70/1988.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/c/cvn-70/1990.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/c/cvn-70/1994.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/c/cvn-70/1996.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.history.navy.mil/shiphist/c/cvn-70/1998.pdf
  10. ^ "USS Carl Vinson". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/deployment.map/vinson.html. 
  11. ^ http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=3486
  12. ^ http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=9520
  13. ^ "Deployments of USS CARL VINSON". http://www.navysite.de/cvn/cvn70deploy.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  14. ^ http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=18266
  15. ^ http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=16624
  16. ^ http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=19460
  17. ^ "USS Carl Vinson Arrives in Norfolk". http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=19433. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  18. ^ http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=29893
  19. ^ "USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - History". http://www.navysite.de/cvn/cvn70hist.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  20. ^ "Navy Accepts Re-Delivery of USS Carl Vinson". http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=46944. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  21. ^ a b http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/10/navy_strike_group_100109w/
  22. ^ http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=10675
  23. ^ "Navy Establishes Carrier Strike Group 1". http://www.military.com/news/article/navy-news/navy-establishes-carrier-strike-group-1.html?ESRC=navy-a.nl. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  24. ^ Wilson, Patrick, "Carrier Carl Vinson To Leave Tuesday For San Diego", Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, January 9, 2010.
  25. ^ http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/01/navy_vinson_haiti_update_011310w/
  26. ^ http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=50498
  27. ^ http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=64686
  28. ^ "The Post-Quake Water Crisis: Getting Seawater to the Haitians". Time Magazine, Tim Padgett, Jan 19. http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100119/wl_time/02880419533791953494195458400. 

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