USS John C. Stennis - Hooked ...



Greyhound/flight deck/Hawkeye


A touch-down "par excellence" if you know that the flight deck is only 1,092 feet long and about 257 feet wide. On the other hand, the Nimitz class carrier is as high as a 24 story building which is 244 feet from keel to mast. However, to usher in such a hulk and bring him to a speed of more than 30 knots two nuclear reactors are needed as a propulsion system. As much power you will find in the armament the Stennis is equipped with: three Mk 29 Sea
Sparrow launchers and four 20mm
Phalanx CIWS (Close-in Weapon
System) Mk 15, which is a fast-reaction, rapid-fire gun system for short range defense against aircraft or missiles.



Yet unlikely that something will ever get so close to the ship, because we are not alone: Alongside a destroyer squadron (DESRON 21) and several supply vessels are constantly escorting the USS Stennis, which in line with the operation "Iraqi Freedom" is accomplishing maneuvers together with the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. For the logistics of those escort ships and their aircraft the Stennis carries approximately          three million gallons of fuel.



A hot and humid blast is streaming in our faces as we are finally leaving the transport aircraft in file, with a taste of kerosene on the tongue. In the distance you can dimly see the Iranian coast. Without hesitation we are following the FSO (Flight Safety Officer). Hardly having time to watch the hustle and bustle on the flight deck, but whoever breaks the ranks lives a dangerous life here: pitfalls, switching vehicles, moving helicopter rotor blades



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