USS Nimitz CVN-68 (1975-present)
The USS Nimitz is one of the Navy’s supercarriers and is one of the largest warships in the world. She was commissioned into the United State Navy in 1975 as a nuclear-powered multiple-mission aircraft carrier. Even thought she started off in Virginia she, ended up in the Pacific Ocean after being transferred to San Diego in 2001. She is the current flagship of the Carrier Strike Group 11.
The USS Nimitz is still in active service at this time and has had several impressive missions on her career including various combat operative missions as well as humanitarian missions.
Action in the Middle East
The USS Nimitz was deployed into the Mediterranean Sea during the Iran hostage crisis for a mission that was designated Operation Evening Light. However, she did not fire a shot during this period, but took part of some exercises that required her to shoot down Libyan aircraft over international waters. The Iran hostage crisis was not the only time that the USS Nimitz would see operational deployment into this portion of the world, as she would be sent off the coast of Lebanon after the hijacking of TWA Flight 847.
During the 1988 Olympic Games hosted in South Korea, the USS Nimitz was one of the ships sent to provide security to the games. However, she did not have to fire a shot during this security detail.
The USS Nimitz also took part of Operation Earnest Will which helped protect Kuwaiti oil tankers from being damaged by enemy forces. She was sent on several other deployments to the Middle East, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In between her deployments she took several world cruises.
The USS Nimitz was the “star” of the documentary Carrier which aired in 2005 on PBS. This documentary let people experience the daily life of a sailor on an aircraft carrier. The USS Nimitz is also the carrier featured in the movie The Final Countdown and Tom Clancy’s book Red Storm Rising.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, aircraft carriers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.