USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier during an active training mission at sea off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.
The following is an interview with one of the Distinguished Visitors of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. His personal story is shared with all the memorable and exciting details of this unique experience.
This page has some fabulous photography and videos captured by the Distinguished Visitor in the spotlight. Oh, and by the way, that Distinguished Visitor is now my ex! Believe it or not. This story of one Distinguished Visitor's experience has been reviewed by official Navy personnel for factual accuracy.
Photo Credit: A Distinguished Visitor, my ex, who gets the photo/video credits herein.
Distinguished Visitor Poll
Please answer our question. Were you a Distinguished Visitor or know somebody?
- Yes, I was.
- Whilst I personally wasn't; I know somebody who was!
- I've been on the ship with them.
- Not yet had the pleasure.
|USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)|
To experience first hand the Navy's mission
"In life there may come those rare opportunities to do something that you may never have believed possible. Thanks to a fortunate happenstance and having friends of friends in high places, it was my honor to be invited to visit the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier as part of the Distinguished Visitor Embarkation Program. The purpose of the program is to allow selected civilians to experience first hand the Navy's mission, and to in turn contribute to the public understanding of the roles and missions of the Navy. I hope this piece will serve well as my contribution to this purpose." ~Ray Brady, Distinguished Visitor of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier.
The Official FAQs on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)
Nimitz-class aircraft carrier - Check out the official Navy website for "Ike"
|Insignia Patch of USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN-69)|
Check out the facts at http://www.eisenhower.navy.mil/stat_facts.html.
* Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va.
* Keel laid: Aug. 15, 1970
* Launched: Oct. 11, 1975
* Commissioned: Oct. 18, 1977
* Planned crew size: 6,287
* Number of anchors: 2
* Weight of anchors: 60,000 lbs. each
* Anchor chain: 1,082 ft. on each anchor
* Total anchor weight including chain: 735,000 lbs. each
* Distillation plant capacity: 400,000 gals.
* Number of light fixtures: approx. 29,000
* Length of flight deck: 1,092 ft.
* Width of flight deck: 252 ft.
* Height keel to mast: 244 ft.
* Area of flight deck: 4.5 acres
* Displacement of carrier: 95,000 tons
* Type: Nuclear reactor
* Number of reactors: 2
* Maximum speed: More than 30 knots
* Number of screws: 4
* Weight of screws: 66,200 lbs. each
* Number of rudders: 2 (29 ft. by 22 ft., 60,000 lbs.)
* Number of catapults: 4
The Distinguished Visitors of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
(CVN-69) - NRSE Guests of November 15-16, 2009
The twelve special people who became Distinguished Visitors include Ray Brady, Vice-President of Technical Services, Nova Pressroom Products; James Clark, President, Daniel; Frank De Toma, Senior Constituent Advocate, Senator Bill Nelson; Jackie Gray, Senior Staffer, Congresswoman Corrine Brown; Dr. Todd Igel, Chief of Urology, Mayo Clinic; Sean McNeil, Bay County Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Military Affairs Committee and President, McNeil-Carroll Engineering, Inc.; Dr. William Newsom, Director, Eye Surgicenter, Ophthalmologist; Sara Phipps, President, The Yellow Door Agency; Bruce Smathers, Former FL State Senator, former FL Secretary of State, Influential Community Leader; Ted Spangenberg, Director, Military Affairs and Special Projects, Gulf Power Company; Susan Steger, Mayor, Fernandina Beach, FL; and Kathy Sutton, American Cancer Society Representative, Project Lead "In The Pink Boutique."
Official Navy News Story
Eisenhower CSG Successfully Completes COMPTUEX
From Public Affairs Story Number: NNS091124-22
Release Date: 11/24/2009 5:13:00 PM
"NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (CSG) successfully completed a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX), Nov. 24, off the East Coast of the U.S. from Virginia to Florida."
Read the rest of the official Navy news story at http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=49858
For more news visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/ and http://www.eisenhower.navy.mil/ikenews.html.
Distinguished Visitors Arrive
Naval Air Station Jacksonville Florida
We arrive at Naval Air Station Jacksonville with a welcome from Base Commander Captain John "Jack" Scorby and Southeast Regional Commander, Rear Admiral Tim Alexander. Their welcome both instills us with excitement yet put us at ease of what we have in store.
Our group of Distinguished Visitors is introduced and includes professionals from Jacksonville, Fernandina, Orlando, Gainesville and Panama City. Among us is Bruce Smathers, former Florida politician and Secretary of State of Florida.
We Prepare to Board the C-2 Greyhound
The Carrier Onboard Delivery
Did I mention this involves a tail hook landing on the Carrier? Yes we go from 120 mph to 0 in 2.5 seconds ... Awesome!!!! We are told, AFTERWARDS, that the tail hook landing experience we had was not much different than for an F/A-18 landing except that seats on the COD face backwards and we slam into the seat on the landing.
Arriving on Board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
The buffet for dignitaries style lunch makes up quite well for the lack of peanuts and soda on the COD flight. After a safety briefing and suiting up with the safety equipment we are off to the flight deck.
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is Loaded
Grab Your Earplugs!
F/A-18s are Launched Off the Catapults by the "Shooters"
The shuffling of jets and launching can be done in less than a minute apart. The bevy of activity on the flight deck could be described as a mix of a synchronized three ring circus and a Ballet. The different deck crew jobs are identified by different colored uniforms, each performing their task in an organized timely fashion. It is truly amazing, also considering many of the seaman handling these $75+ Million aircraft are only 19-20 years old.
Jobs on the flight deck are rated as the 2nd most dangerous job in the world after crewing on Alaska crab fishing boats. Another testament to our times is that of the 5000+ sailors on board almost 1000 are women. No doubt that this is a valuable enrichment to life onboard a ship.
A Taste of the Top Gun Experience
The Controlled Crash Landing of F/A-18 Tailhook
Picture Perfect Landing
F/A-18 Super Hornet - Pretty amazing to see this tailhook landing up close!
Another Picture Perfect Landing
E-2C Hawkeye! The plane! The plane! Check that landing you all.
Our Guides are Ensign Nunez and LCDR Shand
Another Picture Perfect Landing
H-60 Seahawk Helicopter. A bit quieter than the other landing.
Strike Group 8 of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
Strike Group 8 consists of the Eisenhower, 11 surface ships, a submarine and Carrier Airwing Seven CVW-7. In earlier times a strike group would be maintained as a cohesive unit. Today the ships may be deployed separately to various missions as needed around the world. There is always a group of destroyers and cruisers and usually a submarine detached with a Carrier as the primary defense against an attack on the Carrier.
The Carrier Airwing CVW-7 Includes Five Squadrons of F/A-18s
Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Group.
More importantly to Captain Field was expressing to us the overall mission of the Navy which includes not only the protection of our country but also worldwide humanitarian causes and security to protect trade and the economic well-being for the whole planet. Check out the awesome video on the U.S. Navy Maritime Strategy.
A Trip to the Bridge 10 Stories Above the Flight Deck
Visiting the Air Boss on the Flight Bridge
The Admirals Bridge Becomes Our Meeting Place
We Visit the Jolly Rogers F/A-18 Squadron Ready Room
Distinguished Visitors Are Awarded With a Five-Star Dinner
We finish off the evening by viewing the night launch and recovery of the 18s viewed from Vultures Row, outside of the Admirals Bridge. The high point here is the visible fire plume from the afterburners at the launch.
Ear Plugs! See the Fire from the Afterburners!
An awesome sight to see the fire plumes
Next Morning Reveille at 06:15AM in Goat's Locker
The Medical Facilities are Very Well-Equipped
Visiting the Ordinance Control
Drumroll for the Finale -- The Catapult Launch
We Prepare for Our Disembarkation
As we walk out to the COD, the nostalgia of our short visit is already setting in, as we try to take in the surroundings and embed all of the experience into our memory.
The Exciting Catapult Launch
Off the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. May I say, going, going, GONE!
The Launch was Exciting - Time to Go!
Thumbs Up Experience
The young seaman doing jobs from swabbing the decks to moving around jet airplanes do so knowing that their job is important to the operation and to their fellow shipmates. Common to all was a rich life experience, and a since of pride in doing their job as service to their country. Also evident from the Commanding officers and Chiefs was a clear sense of mentorship to their subordinates and a positive attitude on life in the Navy.
We, the Distinguished Visitors all come away with a keen appreciation of what Captain Mewborne and the other commanding officers had expressed to us; that "the Carrier, the planes and all the naval activities are amazing, but what really makes the Navy is the people."
Reflections of a Distinguished Visitor
A place to make a rewarding life!
For me, it is a regret to not have had the opportunity to serve in the military, though in my era of Vietnam, the view of joining the military was not the same as it is today. As the times have changed, so has our military, but the values and heart and sole has been there all along and is still strong today. For young people, I can see no better place to begin a life experience and for many, a place to make a rewarding life.
Thanks to all of the officers and crew of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), our COD crew, and Suzanne Speight, coordinator of the DV program for an amazing experience. ~Ray Brady
Keepsakes of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
USS Eisenhower CVN-69 Small Pin. How About a Souvenir Hat Pin? This is a 1-1/4 inch metal pin. Wear as a ball cap hat pin or on a lapel. Comes with clutchback.
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Collectible Coin. This coin is dedicated to the outstanding courage and commitment of all those who proudly serve aboard the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. The obverse features the bust of the legendary General Eisenhower depicted above the ship named in his honor. Minted on the reverse is a rendering of the official emblem of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower. In North Africa, on the beaches at Normandy, and in the Battle of the Bulge, Dwight David Eisenhower proved himself as one of the world's greatest military leaders. Faced with conciliating or disagreeing with such stormy figures as Churchill, Roosevelt, and DeGaulle, and generals like Montgomery and Patton, General Eisenhower showed himself to be as skillful a diplomat as he was a strategist.
Stephen E. Ambrose, associate editor of the General's official papers, analyzes his subject's decisions in The Supreme Commander, which Doubleday first published in 1970. Throughout the book Ambrose traces the steady development of Eisenhower's generalcy--from its dramatic beginnings through his time at the top post of Allied command.
Hope you enjoyed the visit!
What an awesome experience to board a SuperCarrier. Been on board another naval aircraft carrier? We'd love to hear from EVERYONE who has taken the time to visit today. Please take a moment to sign our guestbook. Thanks for dropping by.
History: A Distinguished Visitor : USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was originally created on Squidoo by JaguarJulie on November 25, 2009. On December 1, 2009 this lens earned the Purple Star Award for quality content.