uss nimitz (cvn 68)

An F/A-18D Hornet and an E/A-6B Prowler are on elevator three to be brought to the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway conducting fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Lemieux/Released)

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Rhena Stephans, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, prepares an F/A-18F Super Hornet, from the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, to be launched from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is currently underway conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in preparation for an upcoming deployment. COMPTUEX tests a carrier strike group’s mission-readiness and ability to perform as an integrated unit through simulated real-world scenarios. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cole Schroeder/Released)

When on the flightdeck of a carrier it pays to have your head on a swivel!

An EA-6B Prowler assigned to the “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142 prepares to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raul Moreno Jr./Released)

An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Vigilantes” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 prepares to break the sound barrier above the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) passes by the Arizona Memorial as Sailors spell out “FREEDOM” and man the rails of the ship as the ship pulls into Pearl Harbor for a liberty visit. The stop is the first port call for Nimitz following a transit around South America while on the way to the her homeport of San Diego, Calif. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Shawn Patrick Eklund. (RELEASED)

An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighter conducts approaches the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) for an arrested landing. Two joint strike fighters are conducting a series of test aboard Nimitz. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Andy Wolfe/Released)

6

Homecoming!

EVERETT, WA (Dec. 16, 2013) – Sailors stationed onboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) man the rails as the ship returns to her homeport of Everett, WA after nearly nine-months away from home.

Nimitz and her crew of 5,000 men and women concluded an extended deployment to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea….conducting training operations with foreign navies….supporting Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)….providing goodwill and assistance operations in several countries….and maritime security operations.

The ship steamed 80,000 miles (129,000km)….the equivalent of more than three times around the world!

The crew earned several well-deserved breaks from long days, weeks and months of hard work, visiting Busan, South Korea….Phuket, Thailand….Jebel Ali, UAE….Bahrain….Naples, Italy….Pearl Harbor, HI….and San Diego, CA….for a few days of rest and relaxation in each port.

Bravo Zulu (Well Done), Nimitz….and supportive families back home, who also endured the long separation from loved ones serving their Nation far, far away!

                                       *          *          *          *

                                Join the Navy and see the world!

                              It’s not just a job….it’s an adventure!

                               Pride….Professionalism….Purpose!

                                __________________________

>>CLICK the photos to feel the emotion up-close….

>>U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kyle Steckler, USN; Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Lockwood, USN; Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eric M. Butler, USN; Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan R. McDonald, USN; and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William Blees, USN

PACIFIC OCEAN (Dec. 10, 2013) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Black Knights of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during the departure of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11. CVW-11 fixed wing aircraft flew off Nimitz to return home after more than eight months deployed to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kelly M. Agee/Released)

PROWLER INBOUND

An EA-6B Prowler assigned to the Gray Wolves of Electronic Attack Squadron 142 (VAQ-142) prepares to land on the fl ight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). 

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raul Moreno Jr/US Navy

An E/A-6B Prowler from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142 pours smoke from its exhaust as it prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as an F/A-18C Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 prepares to be next for launch.

Naval Aircrew (Helicopter) 3rd Class Alfredo Robles assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) readies a MK-58 smoke marker in an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter during a mine pounce training operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Devin Wray/Released)

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) perform a refueling at sea.