USS John C. Stennis


USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) is the seventh Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and is named in honor of Senator John. C. Stennis of Mississippi.  Aircraft carriers are the centerpiece of America's Naval forces. On any given day, aircraft carriers exercise the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Navigation Directions of Warfighting First, Being Ready, and Operating Forward.  The largest warships in the world, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers support and operate aircraft that engage in attacks on airborne, afloat and ashore targets that threaten free use of the sea and engage in sustained power projection operations in support of U.S. and coalition forces.  The aircraft carrier and its strike group also engage in maritime security operations to interdict threats to merchant shipping and prevent the use of the seas for terrorism and piracy. Aircraft carriers also provide unique capabilities for disaster response and humanitarian assistance. 

 

She was commissioned on 9 December 1995. Her home port is temporarily in Norfolk, Virginia, for her scheduled refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH), which began in 2019. After her overhaul is completed sometime in the 2020s, she is scheduled to return to Bremerton, Washington.
 

 

Mission and Capabilities

 

The mission of John C. Stennis and her air wing (CVW-9) is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward-deployed. The embarked air wing consists of eight to nine squadrons. The attached aircraft are Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 HornetEA-18G GrowlerMH-60R, MH-60S, and E-2C Hawkeye.

 

The air wing can engage enemy aircraft, submarines, and land targets, or lay mines hundreds of miles from the ship. John C. Stennis's aircraft are used to conduct strikes, support land battles, protect the battle group or other friendly shipping, and implement a sea or air blockade. The air wing provides a visible presence to demonstrate American power and resolve a crisis. The ship normally operates as the centerpiece of a carrier battle group commanded by a flag officer embarked upon by John C. Stennis and consisting of four to six other ships.

 

John C. Stennis's two nuclear reactors give her virtually unlimited range and endurance and a top speed in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h, 34.5 mph). The ship's four catapults and four arresting gear engines enable her to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously. The ship carries approximately 3 million US gallons (11,000 m3) of fuel for her aircraft and escorts, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment. John C. Stennis also has extensive repair capabilities, including a fully equipped Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, a micro-miniature electronics repair shop, and numerous ship repair shops.

 

For defense, in addition to her air wing and accompanying vessels, John C. Stennis has NATO RIM-7 Sea Sparrow and Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) surface-to-air missile systems, the Phalanx Close-in Weapons System for cruise missile defense, and the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System.

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