Gerald R. Ford, President of the U.S at the commissioning of USS Nimitz famously said these words.”… Wherever the Nimitz shows her flag, she will be seen as we see her now – a true symbol of the strength of the United States of America. Made in the United States and manned by Americans. No matter what the nature of its mission is, whether its diplomacy, defense, or humanity, The Nimitz will command admiration from some, caution from others and respect from all.”
After its commissioning in 1975, the USS Nimitz secured for itself a proud, secure, and prominent place in history, pretty much as her namesake, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. The Nimitz Class are the largest fleets of aircraft carriers in the world and the backbone and core of America’s Naval force.
The USS Nimitz serves to:
Act as a deterrent to enemy attack; provide an independently operating forward presence.
Act as HQ base and corner-stone of all allied naval forces in times of conflict.
Operate and support aircraft attacks against external aggressors, provide protection for ally forces, and be able to sustain or engage in long-term operations in times of war independently.
The USS Nimitz – a masterpiece of modern engineering, can bear such independent operations for a long time thanks to both its Navy’s support services and nuclear propulsion. The Nimitz is armed with 2 nuclear power plants, 4, 5 bladed propellers and 4 main engines. She is able to sail at speeds in excess of 30 knots indefinitely, making it possible to arrive at station when it’s needed. The ship is able to manage such long-haul operations due to its large deposits of aviation fuel, food and spare parts stored on board. When it is time to re-supply, Navy combat support ships and oilers provide aviation fuel, weapons, and fresh food. Critical parts and mails are delivered through C-2 cargo planes. Refueling Nimitz is extremely occasional. She experienced her first refueling, following 23 years in the fleet, during a 33 – month Refueling Overhaul at Newport News in 1998.
As mentioned before, the Nimitz belongs to a class of supercarriers that are the largest in the world. Being 252 feet wide, 1,092 feet long, and over 18 stories high the keel to the top, she is an extremely prominent force in the armada. The flight deck alone is about 4.5 acres. Around 6,000 persons can be comfortably accommodated in the ship. Many have coined her ”the floating city” and she unquestionably fits that description.
She has 4 distilling units on board, making it possible for her engineers to produce more than 400,000 gallons of water each day. She is also equipped with 8 steam turbine generators, each producing 8,000 kilowatts of electricity a day. She also has 4 distilling units aboard, enabling the Nimitz’ engineers to produce over 400,000 gallons of water every day.
Some other facilities that the Nimitz has available to serve the crew while deployed for long periods of time are:
A Dental facility, which is normally staffed by 5 dentists.
Laundry, tailoring services and dry cleaning.
Medical facilities with 6 doctors (a surgeon included) and a hospital ward which holds about 80 beds.
There are 3 chaplains who organize and provide different religious services
The Nimitz’ mobility, flexibility, independence, and combat readiness are all qualities that have made her an effective and successful pillar as the leading ship of the world’s most powerful class of warships. The Nimitz will keep on leading the fleet well into this century and will not be overlooked as a symbol of the United States Navy’s finest instrument of power, peace, and a stage for diplomacy.