This Month:

Through The Decades: 40 Years Of 68

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For some people, their 40’s are considered the prime of their life. Many are in good enough shape to not suffer from major aches and pains, or ailments and they have achieved some level of professional success and security. Most parents in their 40’s feel like seasoned veterans in the art of raising children. Some may even be considered influential members of their communities.

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) has reached that penultimate point. The third oldest active ship in the Navy, Nimitz has traveled around the world, transporting Sailors, Marines and aircraft to fight in nearly every major show of force in American military history in the last 40 years.

Today we celebrate a few of Nimitz’ milestones, and we’ve included context and a few fun facts about each decade. From her maiden voyage in 1976 to deploying for the Global War on Terror, Nimitz has played a pivotal part in diversity and innovation in our modern Navy.

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1975

infographic-money  Gas: 44 cents a gallon

infographic-music  Top Song: “Love Will Keep Us Together”- Captain & Tennille

infographic-world  What was going on in the world?: US Pulls out of Cambodia | The Vietnam War ends as Communist forces take Saigon and South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally | Cray-1, the first commercially developed supercomputer, invented by Seymour Cray

infographic-68  What was the Nimitz doing?:Nimitz commissioned (3 May 1975) | Maiden voyage to Mediterranean (1976-1977)

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Firsts in diversity and innovation: Global Positioning System (1978) becomes operational utilizing 32 medium Earth orbit satellites | McDonnell Douglas rolled out the first F/A-18A (1978) |  Naval Flight Officer (NFO) program opened to women (1979)

infographic-talk  What do former Nimitz Sailors have to say?: “The Sci-Fi film, ” The Final Countdown,” was filmed on board the Nimitz. The Signal Bridge was close to the action and we had the pleasure of providing the rain as part of the special effects by using a fire hose and a 4-foot applicator. We also had the pleasure of meeting the cast and had a chance to speak with them as well.” – Ivan E. Colon/SM2 (1976-1980)

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 “I think that a modern Nimitz Sailor would expect to experience the same things I did except now there are women on board. The work, sights, sounds and smells are still the same. I went back aboard Nimitz 21 years after I last left her. The instant I stepped into the hanger deck, all those smells, sights and sound struck me with familiarity of an old friend.” – Danny Collins (1975-1977)

1980s

infographic-money  Average Household Income: $18,801

infographic-music  “Physical”- Olivia Newton-John (1981)

infographic-world  John Lennon shot (1980) | The first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifted off (1981) | president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail

Gorbachev eased tensions between the two superpowers, leading to the end of the Cold War| The fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)

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Assisted in Iran hostage crisis (1980) | Moved homeports to Bremerton, WA (July 1987)

infographic-talkWorking on the CATS was a lot of long hours, we only had one shift. Usually the day started out early with pre-op and no loads. Then flight ops that could be several launch and recoveries, and on top of that we also had scheduled maintenance to do. So most days were 18 hours more or less.” – ABE3 Bobby Shaffer (1985-1988)

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First female in space, Dr. Sally Ride (1983) | First Hispanic females in U.S. Naval Academy (1989)

infographic-talk “You smoked at your desk and berthing, NEVER on a weather deck.” – LS1 Brent Young (1982-1986)

1990s

infographic-money Gas: $1.16

infographic-music  “How Do I Live?”- LeAnn Rimes (1997)

infographic-world  World Wide Web launches 1991 | In Rwanda and other countries in Africa including Zaire Ethnic Conflict between the majority Hutu and minority Tutsi caused upwards of the death of 500,000 | Iraq invades Kuwait, marking the beginning of The Gulf War

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Deployed twice in support of Operation Desert Storm (1991-1993) | Nimitz world cruise (1997-1998) | Moved homeports to Newport News, VA (March 1998)

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First female U.S. Navy officer to command a ship, LCDR Darlene Iskra (1990) | First female Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright (1996) | First African-American female to command a ship, Cmdr. Michelle Howard (1999)

infographic-talk “I remember seeing F-14’s in action. It was such an amazing aircraft to witness in person launching and recovering. Even tied down on deck with its wings swept back, it just looked fast and mean.” – MM3 Jim Hall (1992-1994)

infographic-talk “The motto regarding leadership was “Teamwork a Tradition”. This applies even now that I’m retired” – ADAN Robert Arnold (1993-1997)

2000s

infographic-money  Median Price of a New Home: $166,300 (2001)

infographic-music  “We Belong Together” Mariah Carey (2005)

infographic-world  2005- Hurricane Katrina striking Louisiana, U.S., killing more than 1,400 people and devastating the city New Orleans and the Mississippi coast | 9/11 | Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (2003) | Facebook is launched (2004)

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Moved homeports to San Diego (2001) | Deployed 3 times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror (2003-2007) | Nimitz’ own Lt. Cmdr. Regina Mills became the U.S. Navy’s first first female handling officer |  F-35 first carrier landing on Nimitz (2014) |

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“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repealed (2010) | Last time F-14 Tomcats were used by U.S. Navy (2006) | First female Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Michelle Howard (2014)

 “infographic-talkAfter hearing that the Pentagon was hit, the captain came over again. He said, ‘I know that everyone would like to go home but we are now, for the first time since WWII, in threat condition Delta. If you have any appointments out in town, you’ll need to reschedule or cancel them. You can make calls to your loved ones to let them know that you’re fine. No one is allowed to leave the ship. All of our people on leave has been called back. Let’s go single lined and get ready to go underway within 24 hours.’ So we got the flight deck ready to launch and recover aircrafts. That was my day, 9/11.”ABH3 Keith Hoover (2000-2004)

 

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