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    Legendary USS Nimitz Surpasses 350,000 Arrested Landings

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    Sailor assigned to USS Nimitz confirms numbers with the central charging pad operator.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As the formidable USS Nimitz traverses the open waters, it marks a significant moment in naval history – this venerable aircraft carrier, the oldest of its kind still in service, has achieved the remarkable feat of its 350,000th arrested landing.

    USS Nimitz (CVN 68) conducts flight operations.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    This historic event took place on a Saturday, when an F/A-18F Super Hornet, piloted by none other than the Nimitz’s commanding officer, Capt. Craig Sicola, completed a successful landing on the ship’s deck.

    USS Nimitz conducts flight operations.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    “I am honored and humbled to land this historic milestone for our ship,” Capt. Sicola stated, paying homage to the “countless naval aviators who have flown before me.”

    USS Nimitz (CVN 68) conducts flight operations.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The tradition of arrested landings, also known as traps, is a feat where aircraft, upon touching down, immediately decelerate by snagging one of four cables on the carrier’s deck with a tailhook.

    Sailors load ammunition onto an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of USS Nimitz.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    This complex maneuver is critical due to the limited runway space on the carrier’s deck and stands as a testament to the ingenuity and precision of naval aviation.

    Sailors slack out line during sea and anchor detail on the fantail of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Commissioned in the wake of the Vietnam War on May 3, 1975, the USS Nimitz has been at the forefront of naval innovation and strength.

    A Sailor walks across the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Named after World War II Pacific Fleet Commander Chester W. Nimitz, this vessel was the first of the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, which brought forth a series of design enhancements based on insights gained from earlier classes.

    An F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The Nimitz boasts a nuclear-powered operation that allows for extended missions at sea, carrying more aviation fuel and ordnance compared to its predecessors.

    USS Nimitz (CVN 68) conducts flight operations.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Throughout its nearly half-century of service, the USS Nimitz has been involved in crucial operations, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Middle East. Its aircraft have soared in the skies above Iraq and Afghanistan, supporting operations such as Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and taking part in the fight against ISIS.

    USS Nimitz (CVN 68) transits the Philippine Sea while participating in dual carrier operations with USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    In the 1980s, the Nimitz weathered significant events, including a crash that claimed 14 crewmen’s lives and engaging in aerial encounters like the Gulf of Sidra incident. Its aircraft have also delivered decisive strikes during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Southern Watch, projecting the might of U.S. military power across the Middle East.

    USS Carl Vinson | CVN 70 | Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier | United States Navy (USN) | Hong Kong | China” by Christian Junker | Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Despite the challenges and tragedies, such as the deadly crashes on its deck in 1981 and 1987, the Nimitz has persisted as an emblem of American resilience and commitment to global peace and security.

    An Indian navy MIG-29K Fulcrum aircraft flies over USS Nimitz during Exercise Malabar 2017.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, commander of Carrier Strike Group 11, commemorates the carrier’s historic achievement as a “once in a lifetime” event, celebrating over a century of U.S. aircraft carrier innovation.

    USS Nimitz (CVN 68) enters Apra Harbor, Guam.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The life and legend of the USS Nimitz are not without an endpoint. The carrier is set for retirement in 2027, following a distinguished tenure that saw it through 30 deployments and countless operations.

    USS Nimitz leads a formation of ships in the Bay of Bengal as part of Exercise Malabar 2017.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Its legacy will eventually pass on to the new Ford-class carriers, but the indelible mark of the USS Nimitz will forever remain etched in the annals of naval supremacy, echoing the nation’s enduring commitment to its mission.

    USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) steam in formation during a Strait of Hormuz transit, Sept. 18, 2020.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As the Nimitz sails toward its retirement, it continues to defy the odds, surpassing the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in arrested landings and embodying the unyielding spirit of its namesake and the countless servicemen and women who have served upon its deck.

    Relevant articles:
    USS Lexington CV CVA CVS 16 Essex class aircraft carrier US Navy, seaforces.org
    What Is The Oldest Aircraft Carrier Still In Service?, SlashGear
    Navy aircraft carrier makes history with ‘once in a lifetime’ milestone — 350K trap landings, Stars and Stripes

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