The USS Carl Vinson, named after Congressman Carl Vinson, is a ship in the United States Navy. It is a 113,500 ton Nimitz class super carrier, the third of its kind ever built, that has been in operation since 1982. To this day the USS Carl Vinson remains one of the most prominent carriers in the US fleet. It has assisted in operations in the Persian Gulf, the War on Terror, and several relief missions around the world.

During 1983 the USS Carl Vinson made its maiden voyage, leaving port from Norfolk Virginia, and traveling around the world over the span of eight months before taking up station at the US Naval Airbase in Alameda, California. In 1984 the ship participated in the RIMPAC military exercises before being sent to serve in the western Pacific. During its time in the western Pacific the ship participated in pursuit of a Soviet submarine in the Sea of Japan, and Indian Ocean.

After returning to Alameda, the carrier was once more sent to the western Pacific in 1986, and made history by being the first US naval craft to operate in the Bering Sea. The ship would go on to operate in both the Indian Ocean as well as the North Arabian Sea before once more returning to California.

Action in the Middle East

During 1988 the ship participated in escorting US tanks to and from the Persian Gulf in an operation known as Earnest Will, this marked the ships fourth Pacific tour. It returned once more to port in California by December of that same year. In the latter half of 1989 the ship participated in the PACEX, which was the largest naval exercise during a time of peace since World War 2.

Throughout the 1990s, the ship spent much of its time near the Persian gulf, acting in support of operations Southern Watch and Desert Fox. It also participated in another RIMPAC exercise and became the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary.

After the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks the ship was the first carrier to launch airstrikes in Operation Enduring Freedom. Over the course of 72 days the carrier launched more than 4,000 strikes during the War on Terror. It also spent several months at sea in support of operation Iraqi Freedom, before returning for refueling and overhaul in 2005.

After Combat

After being refitted the ship operated in the north Atlantic for some time; however, after the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010, the carrier was sent to help in relief efforts before making the trip to San Diego later in the year.  Currently the carrier is stationed in the south Pacific and Indian Oceans, its first tour of the area since the 2005 overhaul.

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.

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