... It will be the most technologically advanced carrier in the world and is expected to protect American Interests until at least 2059 ...
The U.S. Navy today welcomed the newest member to its powerhouses of the fleet. The U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN -77) was commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va.
About 20,000 people attended the commissioning, including President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other members of the Bush family.
Some CCN 77 facts:
- Cost: $6.2 billion
- Powered by two nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refueling
- Expected to operate as Navy warship for about 50 years
- Typical Nimitz-class ship carries 80-plus combat aircraft
- Towers 20 stories above the waterline with a 4.5-acre flight deck
- 1,092 feet long: nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall
- Four bronze propellers, each 21 feet across and weighing more than 30 tons
- Steering accomplished by two rudders, each 29 feet by 22 feet and weighing 50 tons
- Four high speed aircraft elevators, each more than 4,000 square feet, bring planes to the flight deck from the hangar below
- Home to about 6,000 Navy personnel
- Enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days: 18,150 meals served daily
- Distillation plants providing 400,000 gallons of fresh water from sea water daily, enough for 2,000 homes
- Nearly 30,000 light fixtures and 1,600 miles of cable and wiring
- 1,400 telephones, 14,000 pillowcases and 28,000 sheets
"If you don't have that forward deployed presence, you have less of a voice, less of an influence."
The Nimitz class is am immense source of pride for the world’s largest Navy and its builder Northrop Grumman Corp. It will be the most technologically advanced carrier in the world and is expected to protect American Interests until at least 2059.
The USS George H.W. Bush will be the final vessel in the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, but as one chapter comes to a close, another begins. In November, Northrop received a $5.1 billion contract from the Navy to build the lead ship in the next class of carrier - the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and is expected to be completed in 2015.
Multimedia: The commissioning of the G.H.W. Bush
See also: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers