By Patricia L Johnson
The United States Navy will be celebrating its 239th birthday on October 13, 2014. Please be sure to wish any current Navy personnel and all Navy Veterans a Happy Day when the 13th rolls around.
The current, 75th, Secretary of the Navy is Ray Mabus who began his term of office on May 19, 2009 and is the leader of both the Navy and the Marine Corps.
Secretary of the Navy, Mabus, is responsible for an annual budget of more than $170 billion dollars and governance of almost 900,000 people, as well as an incredible number of varied ships, submarines, and aircraft.
The following statement was made back in 1781: “It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.” – President George Washington, 15 November 1781, to Marquis de Lafayette. [The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745-1799. vol.23. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1937): 341.]
Without a doubt President Washington would be very proud of our current naval force!
The backbone of our current Navy is the aircraft carrier and you may read all about them at the following link http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_print.asp?cid=4200&tid=200&ct=4&page=1 . We have several different classes of carriers and numerous carriers in a class, but we’ll just talk about one, the USS Nimitz (CVN 68). This ship was originally deployed on May 3, 1975 from Newport News, VA and has a service life of 50 years, with one refueling mid-life. In constant FY 2012 dollars, the USS Nimitz cost approximately $8.5 billion and is huge.
The length of the ship is 1,092 feet, with a beam of 134 feet and a flight deck width of 252 feet. It’s difficult to comprehend the size of the ship without a comparison, so we’ll compare it to an American football field which is 300 feet long. Think about a ship being more than three times the length of a football field and having a flight deck that is almost as wide as a football field. This carrier can hold more than 60 aircraft.
When you take into consideration the fact there are 10 Nimitz Class carriers, this class of ships alone can hold in excess of 600 aircraft.
© 2014 Patricia L Johnson