CVN 70 | USS CARL VINSON
Congressman Carl Vinson
1980: On March 15, Congressman Carl Vinson became the first person in the history of the United States to witness a launching in his honor.
1982: USS CARL VINSON is commissioned on March 13, 1982.
1983: After extensive work up and sea trials, the ship with a crew of almost 6,000 Sailors departed Norfolk, Va., on March 1, 1983, and embarked on an eight-month around the world cruise. CARL VINSON steamed in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South China Sea, Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean en route to its new homeport of Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif. On Oct. 28, 1983, CARL VINSON sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time as it entered San Francisco Bay.
1984: CARL VINSON received the highest marks ever awarded an aircraft carrier during an operational readiness examination in February. In March, the ship and crew became "San Francisco’s Own" in a formal adoption ceremony. In May, CARL VINSON participated in RIMPAC ’84, a multi-national exercise involving ships from nations which "Rim of the Pacific" including Canada, Japan, Australia, as well as the United Kingdom. On Oct. 14, CARL VINSON began a seven-month Western Pacific deployment.
1985: From early January to mid April, CARL VINSON was deployed in the Indian Ocean for 107 consecutive days at sea operations. The carrier received its first Meritorious Unit Commendations for operations conducted from November 1984 to May 1985. In February, the Chief of Naval Operations named CARL VINSON as the winner of the Admiral Flatley Memorial Award for operational readiness and aviation safety for 1984.
1986: In May and June, the ship was involved in a series of high-tempo operations that included RIMPAC ’86 exercise. On Aug. 12, CARL VINSON deployed on its second Western Pacific/Indian Ocean cruise and it’s third deployment in all. During transit west, CARL VINSON became the first aircraft to operate in the Bering Sea.
1987: After conducting extensive operations in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea, CARL VINSON transited the Bering Sea once again in January. During the transit to NAS Alameda, CARL VINSON received the highest grade ever given to an aircraft carrier during an Operational Reactor Safeguard Examination.
1988: CARL VINSON departed NAS Alameda for its fourth deployment on June 15, 1988, and making another challenging and successful transit of the Bering Sea. The carrier completed 82 days on station in the North Arabian Sea. While on station, the Gold Eagle supported the escorting of American flagged tankers in the Arabian Gulf. CARL VINSON returned to NAS Alameda on Dec.16. The carrier received its second Admiral Flatley Memorial Award for aviation safety.
1989: The carrier departed Alameda on Sept.18 to participate in PACEX ’89, the largest peacetime naval exercise since World War II. CARL VINSON conducted operations in the icy waters of the Bering Sea, including operations inside the Aleutian Islands. In the following weeks, CARL VINSON, leading a battle force of three carrier battle groups, conducted operations in the Western Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan, and were joined by the navies of other nations.
1990: The ship departed on its fifth deployment on Feb. 1 for the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. The carrier received its first COMNAVAIRPAC Battle "E" award for 1990. After returning to Alameda on July 3, the carrier steamed to Bremerton, Wash. in September to commence a complex overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard starting on Sept. 22, which would conclude on April 6, 1993.
1994: The carrier started its sixth deployment on Feb. 17 to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. The Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet Change of Command was held on the carrier on Aug. 5 while at Pearl Harbor. CARL VINSON returned to Alameda on Aug. 17; and received its third Admiral Flatley Award for aviation safety.
1995: From Aug.26 to Sept. 3, CARL VINSON participated in Exercise Ke Koa and the commemoration of the end of World War II in the Pacific. During the commemoration, President Bill Clinton visited the ship in Hawaii and 12 historic warplanes from World War II were launched from the flight deck. One month later, the ship returned to the San Francisco Bay area and participated in Fleet Week, ’95, launching World War II aircraft, an F/A-18 Hornet and F-14 Tomcat, and an unprecedented launch and recovery of an S-3 Viking in San Francisco Bay. The carrier received its second Meritorious Unit Commendation for the 50th Commemoration of VJ Day 1995.
1996: CARL VINSON departed May 14 for its seventh deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. The ship participated in Exercise Rugged Nautilus and Operations Desert Strike and Southern Watch before returning to Alameda Nov. 14. The carrier received its second Battle "E," its third Meritorious Unit Commendations and its fourth Admiral Flatley Award.
1997: On Jan. 17, CARL VINSON arrived at its new homeport, Bremerton, Wash. In February, the ship added another chapter in the history of naval aviation as the platform for the last carrier launches and recoveries of the A6-E intruder.
1998: Following an intense work up period CARL VINSON participated in RIMPAC ’98. The carrier steamed from Bremerton in early November for its eighth deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. On Dec. 19 CARL VINSON launched air strikes in support of Operation Desert Fox, and continued support for Operation Southern Watch in enforcing the no-fly zone over Southern Iraq.
1999: CARL VINSON maintained pressure on Iraq by launching several air strikes against selected targets located in the no-fly zone of southern Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch from January to March. In July 1999, the ship entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for an 11-month Drydocked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA). The Navy spent more than $230 million for equipment upgrades, a new local-area network (LAN), new berthings, and several quality-of-life upgrades.
2000: CARL VINSON finished the overhaul period in June 2000 and began the pre-deployment phase of operations. The ship got underway for sea trials, TSTA, FEP, and COMPTUEX in the fall, operating off the coast of Southern California with Carrier Air Wing Eleven and other ships in the battlegroup.
2001: From January to June, the carrier spent most of the time out to sea preparing for the ship's twelfth deployment. Carl Vinson steamed out of Bremerton, Wash., on July 23, and after stopping to on load Carrier Air Wing Eleven at Naval Air Station, North Island, Calif., headed west. On Sept. 11, as our nation was rocked by the terrorist attacks, USS Carl Vinson was rounding the tip of India en route the Arabian Gulf to enforce the no-fly zone over Southern Iraq in support Operation Southern Watch . At that moment, the Gold Eagle changed course and headed to the North Arabian Sea, where our battle group would stand ready to answer the call of freedom. That call came, and on Oct. 7, 2001, just 36 hours after we welcomed our new commanding officer, CAPT Richard Wren, the Carl Vinson and her battle group launched the first strikes in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. For 72 days, we remained on station and together with Carrier Air Wing Eleven conducted more than 4,200 combat sorties in the War on Terrorism. In mid-December, Carl Vinson stood down the watch and headed home, visiting Singapore for Christmas.
2002: Carl Vinson returned from her historic deployment on Jan. 23. For their support of the nation's war on terrorism, the crew received the Battle "E" and also the Navy Unit Commendation medal. In April, the crew began a Planned Incremental Availability. During this time several new operational systems were installed, and the ship’s flight deck and catapults were completely renovated. Numerous other spaces and crew living areas were also entirely restored, drastically improving working and living conditions for the crew. Completing her maintenance / overhaul period in record-setting time, USS Carl Vinson and crew set sail in September to conduct sea trials and once again announced to their chain of command that they were ready for fleet operations. In mid-October, the aircraft carrier headed to sea and again set a new standard by completing a transformational innovative Inter Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC). By December, the Carl Vinson / Carrier Air Wing Nine team was deployment ready and was named the Pacific Fleet “ready carrier.”
WestPac 2003: The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returns home to the United States West Coast the week of September 14-19, following an eight-month deployment to the western Pacific.
More than 6,400 Sailors assigned to the supercarrier, her air wing, escort ships and staffs will be greeted with a hero’s welcome, having maintained America’s commitment to peace, stability and theater security in the region throughout the strike group’s extended deployment.
Aircrew from Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) squadrons make the first of many homecomings, as they conduct a “flyoff” of more than 70 aircraft from the aircraft carrier Sept. 14. The following day, Monday, Sept. 15, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) pulls into San Diego Bay and moors at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., to offload the remaining air wing personnel and equipment.
Carl Vinson returns to her homeport at Naval Station Bremerton, Wash., Sept. 19. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed Southern California waters in mid-January and headed for training in the Hawaiian operating areas. On Feb. 7, while operating off the coast of Hawaii, the strike group was ordered to the western Pacific to backfill the Kitty Hawk Battle Group, which was deployed to the Central Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Carl Vinson and her strike group met U.S. commitments in the Pacific Rim from as far north as the Korean Peninsula to as far south as the Australian continent. Meanwhile, the Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group supported operations in the Middle East, returned to her homeport (Yokosuka, Japan), and underwent a scheduled maintenance period. “The primary mission of this deployment was to maintain presence in the western Pacific,” said Capt. Rick Wren, commanding officer of Carl Vinson. “That mission of presence, of course, demonstrated to all of our friends and allies our support for their livelihood. Our presence stabilized the region and reinforced our commitment to the welfare of the peoples of the nations across the western Pacific.”
During the deployment, which covered 60,000 nautical miles – equivalent to two trips around the world — the Carl Vinson CSG flew more than 10,000 sorties, offered indirect strike-planning support for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and participated in several international naval exercises, including Foal Eagle, Tandem Thrust and Ulchi Focus Lens.
“By our theater security commitment, by our visits to various nations, and by our participation in multi-national exercises, we have been a very visible reminder to nations throughout the world that we have been ready, and are ready, to assist at maintaining peace and security wherever required,” said Rear Adm. Marty Chanik, Commander of Carrier Group Three and the Carl Vinson CSG.
Unique among western Pacific cruises since the Gulf War, which have concentrated on the Middle East, the Vinson Strike Group’s deployment reflects the classic Far East cruise of years past.
“Similar to a Med deployment 15-20 years ago, this cruise has been a tremendous blend of operational flying, exercise participation with our friends in the region, and a tremendous exposure of the crew to foreign ports of call,” Wren said. “We hit every gem in the Western Pacific.”
The Carl Vinson CSG’s numerous port calls included Guam, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. During nine port visits, strike group Sailors and Marines participated in 27 community relations projects, amounting to 2,280 hours of service to host nations.
The Carl Vinson Strike Group’s deployment has been unique since the very beginning of its cycle. It was the first strike group to undergo a new, innovative Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC), which greatly compressed the training required for deployment.
“The Carl Vinson Strike Group has led the way in the new fleet readiness plan concept of strike group deployment,” Chanik said. “We had, as part of our IDTC, achieved readiness levels early in the cycle; we were, therefore, employable earlier in the cycle, allowing the Navy to have more combat power available, if required. In our innovative IDTC, we showed what the possibilities were for attaining readiness in an earlier timeframe. And, we provided many of the lessons learned for the Navy to develop a fleet readiness plan. We verified that deployment cycles can change, and we will continue at this as we get back home and maintain our readiness to support potential contingencies.” From innovative and record-setting work-ups last fall, to a shortnotice deployment in February and, finally, to the unexpected news of an extended deployment – the Carl Vinson Strike Group’s schedule has been unpredictable and often times unprecedented. The ability to overcome this uncertainty and become a force in the western Pacific came from the unity and teamwork of the many assets assigned to the CSG.
“The strength of this strike group comes from the individual ships and squadrons working together as a team,” Chanik said. “From day one, this ability has made the strike group particularly effective at accomplishing all assigned tasks, despite the compressed and changing schedule, and able to do so without any drop in performance or capability.”
Description of Coat of Arms:The seal of USS CARL VINSON shows an eagle, wings spread and talons extended, carrying a banner in its beak. The eagle is emblematic of the nation and the ship's motto, and also represents the power that resides in the ship's aircraft. The eagle flies in the form of a stylized letter "V," the initial of the ship's namesake, Congressman Carl Vinson. The "V" also represents the ships hull when viewed bow-on. Inscribed on the banner the eagle carries is the Latin Phrase "Vis Per Mare" which means "Strength from the Sea."