Aircraft Carrier News Surely Worth a Thread of its Own

Dec 2, 2000
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From Defence News.com:

GAO: Cost Overruns Likely for U.S. Navy’s Ford-Class CVNs
quote:

Costs for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation aircraft carrier, the Ford class, will likely exceed what has been budgeted because of overly optimistic cost projections and lack of management tools to identify and react to early signs of cost growth, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office.
The lead ship of the class, the Gerald R. Ford, is intended to replace the Navy’s the first nuclear flattop, the Enterprise, beginning in 2015, and then the fleet’s Nimitz-class carriers.
Full story at http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=3060168&C=america

Comment: The game's afoot! Stay tuned for further developments.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Follow on story to the above from The Daily Press:

Carrier estimates raise red flags

Navy insists its budget for the Gerald R. Ford is realistic but few independent analysts agree
quote:

WASHINGTON - Federal investigators raised more red flags Monday on the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, warning that the cost of the Gerald Ford warship will likely exceed budget forecasts.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said the budget for the first in a new line of carriers is "optimistic" and that "substantial risk remains" in the development of new technologies needed for the ship.

>snip<

The Ford, scheduled to get under construction in Newport News next year, carries an estimated price tag of $13.7 billion. That includes $8.1 billion for construction and $5.6 billion in design and development work that will be used on all succeeding carriers in the class.
Full story at http://www.dailypress.com/business/dp-biz_fordcosts_0925sep26,0,6541131.story
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

Stennis Begins Six-Month DPIA
quote:

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) shifted berths from its homeport pier at Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton to a drydock at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF), Bremerton site.

The shift is part of the ship’s six-month scheduled docking-planned incremental availability (DPIA) period which began Sept. 28.

During the maintenance period, Stennis will receive major upgrades to its potable water system, combat and self defense systems, navigational systems, electrical load centers and numerous other components. The last time Stennis was dry-docked for a DPIA was after the ship’s homeport move from San Diego to Bremerton following the 2004 deployment.
Full story at http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=32172
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

San Diego-Based Ships Return Home From Deployment
quote:

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The four San Diego-based ships of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returned to San Diego Sept. 30 following a six-month Western Pacific and Middle East deployment.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and USS Higgins (DDG 76) departed San Diego April 2 and deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet (C5F) and U.S 7th Fleet areas of operations.
Full story at http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=32320

Comment: A bit late but a happy homecoming is always worth reporting. If the story is any indication, it was quite an eventful cruise.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Navy wants under 1,000 sailors on new carriers
quote:

The Navy wants to figure out a way to put an aircraft carrier to sea with a crew of fewer than 1,000 sailors.

Huh? Or better, how?

In an era when manpower costs devour 60 percent of annual Navy budgets, the service has been hard pressed not only to reduce its end strength so it can afford the ships and aircraft it wants, but to pare down crew sizes while making the most of each sailor.

The manning goals for future Navy warships are far below that of current surface combatants, with just 75 sailors expected to be aboard the Littoral Combat Ship and fewer than 150 crew members aboard the Zumwalt-class destroyers. Future submarine crews also are being optimized.

But when it comes to the next-generation aircraft carrier, the cuts may be more dramatic.
For the rest of the story, see http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/10/navy_optimalmanning_071019w/

Comment: No, I don't see it happening but that doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile on some level if you can realize the needed efficiencies without compromising the safety of the ship. That much is going to be the real trick!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Reagan crew lends a hand, berths to evacuees
quote:

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – More than 100 single sailors with the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan traded their shore-side barracks for ship berthing to make some room for fellow sailors and Navy families who have had to evacuate because of the wildfires burning in the San Diego region.

About 135 sailors or their families assigned to the nuclear-powered carrier were directly affected by the ongoing wildfires, Lt. Ron Flanders, Ronald Reagan’s public affairs officer, said Tuesday morning, where the ship was operating with duty sections only.
Full story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/10/navy_reaganfire_071023w/

A related story from the same source:

Navy helos join fight against wildfires
quote:

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – Navy helicopters carrying buckets of water joined in a major firefighting effort as large wildfires continued to burn Tuesday across San Diego County.

With a 6,000-acre wildfire raging in an adjacent town, some residents at Camp Pendleton remained on guard Tuesday to prepare for an emergency evacuation if the Rice fire in neighboring town of Fallbrook further threatens the base and homes along the Santa Margarita River valley. Two smaller fires flared up in the morning on the base, county fire officials said.
Full story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/10/navy_evacuationsfires_071023w/

Comment: Bravo Zulu to all invloved! Good show!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Nearly 7,500 to deploy as part of Truman CSG
quote:

NORFOLK, Va. – Nearly 7,500 sailors will leave their East Coast homeports Monday when the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman’s strike group deploys.

The Navy announced the regularly scheduled deployment “in support of maritime security operations”￾ on Wednesday.
Story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/10/ap_trumandeploy_071031/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

Ronald Reagan Completes Six-Month Maintenance Period and Sea Trials Ahead of Schedule
quote:

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to Naval Air Station North Island Oct. 31 following sea trials, which allowed the ship and crew to finish the six-month planned incremental availability (PIA) period one day ahead of schedule.

The two days of sea trials were the final phase for the PIA and were designed to assess Ronald Reagan's material readiness and ability to rejoin the fleet as a fully operational unit.

"The completion of this availability is the culmination of an incredible amount of effort invested into the future capability of Ronald Reagan," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer.
For the rest, go to http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=32932
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

George Washington Sailors Help Student Naval Aviators Earn Wings
quote:

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Bright orange and white aircraft became a familiar sight on USS George Washington's (CVN 73) flight deck during its recent underway from Oct. 22 through Nov. 1.

Instead of normal flight operations with F/A-18 Hornets and EA-6 Prowlers, George Washington's flight deck played host for training squadron carrier qualifications (CQ) in a training exercise with Training Air Wing (CTW) 1 and CTW 2.

CTW 1, based in Meridian, Miss., consists of the Training Squadron (VT) 7 "Eagles" and the VT 9 "Tigers." VT 21 "Red Hawks" and the VT 22 "Golden Eagles" make up CTW 2 based in Kingsville, Texas.
For the rest, go to http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=33015

For a little entertainment, try doing what the USS Ronald Reagan is doing in the photo at http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/photos/071030-N-6074Y-053.jpg
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Truman group deploys amid tearful farewells
quote:

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. – The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group left homeport here Monday morning, bound for the waters of the Middle East, where it will relieve the ships and sailors of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, also based in Norfolk.

Strike group commander Rear Adm. Bill Gortney said the deployment will last seven months and it will be the first for 70 percent of the nearly 7,500 sailors involved.
For the rest, go to http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/11/navy_truman_071105/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Defence News.com:

U.S. Navy Conducts Mock Nuclear Disaster Drill With Japan
quote:

Japan and the U.S. conducted their first joint nuclear disaster drill Nov. 8, ahead of the planned deployment of a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier to a port near Tokyo next year.
About 140 people from the two countries joined the drill in Yokosuka, which the U.S. Navy has chosen as the first city outside of the U.S. to host one of its nuclear-powered carriers in 2008.
For the rest, go to http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=3170317&C=america

Comment: Getting ready for the arrival of the USS George Washington. Let's hope that they never have need to put into use what they're practicing for, but better safe then sorry.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

Ronald Reagan Earns Flight Deck Certification
quote:

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The officers and crew of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) returned to homeport Nov. 9 after completing flight deck certification.

The certification came only four short days after Ronald Reagan left Naval Air Station North Island.

Ronald Reagan's flight deck certification underway period comes shortly after completing a six-month planned incremental availability one day ahead of schedule.
For the rest, click on http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=33201
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

Celebrity Chef Visits Big E
quote:

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group in conjunction with Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Naval Entertainment welcomed the host of the television show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" Nov. 9-11.

Chef Guy Fieri put to rest the rumor that military cuisine is not enjoyable by challenging the ship's culinary specialists, as well as random crew members and even the strike group commander to put their culinary skills to the test.

"I would testify that although most people assume that military food is bad, it's better than a lot of people would expect," Fieri said.
For the rest of this offbeat but entertaining story, go to http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=33242
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Daily Press.com:

Law allots $2.8B toward carrier Ford
quote:

WASHINGTON - – President Bush signed a defense spending bill Tuesday that includes money for construction of the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford in Newport News and advance funding to speed up submarine construction.

The annual defense appropriations bill, which totals about $460 billion, includes about $2.8 billion for the Ford, as Bush first requested in February.

The Navy is hoping to build the ship for $8.1 billion, not counting research and development costs for a new class of carrier. Outside experts say the price is sure to rise.
For the rest, see http://www.dailypress.com/business/dp-biz_carrier_1114nov14,0,3599964.story

Information page on the Gerald R. Ford at http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/78.htm
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

Truman Carrier Strike Group Assists Stranded Sailors
quote:

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Ships from Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group rendered assistance to five stranded people in the western Mediterranean Nov. 16.

Shortly after transiting the Strait of Gibraltar, a lookout from Truman spotted a small raft with five people aboard waving paddles in the air. Truman's Combat Direction Center directed USS San Jacinto (CG 56) to investigate the scene.
Full story at http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=33378

Comment: Good job! Bravo Zulu!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Kitty Hawk sailors wait out Hong Kong delay
quote:

HONG KONG – Thousands of U.S. sailors expecting to spend Thanksgiving in Hong Kong were still on their ships Wednesday, waiting for permission to enter Hong Kong waters, U.S. and Hong Kong officials said.

The carrier Kitty Hawk and its support ships had been expected to arrive in Hong Kong on Wednesday morning for a five-day visit, but they were delayed due to problems with “administrative arrangements,”￾ the U.S. consulate said in a statement.
For the rest, go to http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/11/ap_kittyhawk_071121/

Comment: There's nothing quite like a bureaucratic SNAFU to ruin a holiday.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Two notable stories from The Navy Times:

Winter visits as Big E wraps Gulf mission
quote:

ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER ENTERPRISE, IN THE PERSIAN GULF – Jets launching from the Navy’s oldest nuclear flattop in service wrapped up combat operations after a gusty day on the water Saturday, flying their final missions into Iraq.

The carrier simultaneously launched combat operations into Afghanistan and Iraq beginning in August. About 20 percent of F/A-18 Hornets taking off on the final day of combat operations were flying into Iraq, while the rest were performing maritime security missions over the Persian Gulf, according to Lt. Mark Jones, a spokesman for the carrier.
For the rest, see http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/11/navy_enterprise_071126w/

Comment: The Enterprise is expected to return to her home port, Norfolk, by Christmas. Happy holidays, shipmates. You've earned it.

China snubs perplex Roughead, Keating
quote:

Two of the Navy’s top admirals said Tuesday that China’s refusal to let a U.S. aircraft carrier make a Thanksgiving port call at Hong Kong was surprising and troubling.

“This is perplexing. It’s not helpful,” Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of Pacific Command, told reporters in a videoteleconference from his headquarters at Camp Smith, Hawaii. He also called it distressing and irritating but later said it should not be viewed as “calamitous.”
For the rest, go to http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/11/ap_kittyhawk_071127/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Navy whisks girl from cruise ship for surgery
quote:

An ailing 14-year-old Illinois girl on a Pacific Ocean cruise took an unscheduled side trip Saturday – she was plucked by helicopter from the deck of her cruise ship and flown to the carrier Ronald Reagan for emergency appendix surgery.
For the rest, see http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/12/navy_appendix_rescue_071217w/

Comment: Damned fine show!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Flagship:

Roosevelt transitions back to sea
quote:

NORFOLK – Aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt returned to Naval Station Norfolk after completing sea trials in the Virginia Capes operating area Dec. 3-6.

Sea Trials marks the first time TR has been underway on its own power since March 7, when it transited up the Elizabeth River from NavSta to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., for a nine-month Planned Incremental Availability.

“We completed the PIA on time and on budget,”￾ said TR Chief Engineer, Cmdr. Larry Scruggs. “We spent all the money that was allocated to us on repairing the ship. Some may argue that we were under budget because the shipyard was able to find ways to do more work, more efficiently. But overall, we were on time and on budget.”￾
For the rest, go to http://www.flagshipnews.com/articles/2007/12/18/news/from_the_fleet/fleet03.txt
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

ENTSG Returns from Deployment
quote:

ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE (NNS) -- Enterprise Strike Group (ENTSG), led by the strike group commander, Rear Adm. Dan Holloway, returned to its homeport of Norfolk, Dec. 19 after a five-month deployment in support of Maritime Security Operations, Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF), Iraqi oil platform protection, anti-piracy operations and the struggle against violent extremists.
Story at http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=33951

Also:

USS George Washington Recognized for Environmental Stewardship
quote:

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73) (GW) was awarded the Navy Environmental Stewardship Flagship Award 2007, Dec. 18, in recognition of the tremendous number of hours GW Sailors spent volunteering throughout the Hampton Roads area.

Receiving the award in the large seagoing command category, GW sailors were recognized for "selflessly volunteering to protect, preserve and enhance our environment."
For the rest, see http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=34028