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USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)
USS John C. Stennis, 2007May11.jpg
USS John C. Stennis in May 2007
Career (United States)
Name: USS John C. Stennis
Namesake: John C. Stennis
Awarded: 30 June 1988[1]
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co.[1]
Cost: $4.5 billion; projected service life: 50 years
Laid down: 13 March 1991[1]
Launched: 13 November 1993[1]
Sponsored by: Margaret Jane Stennis Womble
Commissioned: 9 December 1995[1]
Homeport: NB Kitsap, Washington[1]
Motto: Look Ahead
Nickname: Johnny Reb[2]
Status: In active service as of 2013
Badge: USS John Stennis CVN-74 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
Theodore Roosevelt subclass
Displacement: 103,300 long tons (115,700 short tons)[3]
  • Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
  • Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
  • Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
  • Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
  • Draft:
  • Maximum navigational: 37 feet (11.3 m)
  • Limit: 41 feet (12.5 m)
  • Propulsion:
  • 2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
  • 4 × steam turbines
  • 4 × shafts
  • 260,000 shp (194 MW)
  • Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
    Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
    Capacity: 6500 officers and crew (with embarked airwing)[1]
    • Ship's company: 3,200
    • Air wing: 2,480
    Sensors and
    processing systems:
  • AN/SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
  • AN/SPS-49(V)5 2-D air search radar
  • AN/SPQ-9B target acquisition radar
  • AN/SPN-46 air traffic control radars
  • AN/SPN-43C air traffic control radar
  • AN/SPN-41 landing aid radars
  • 4 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
  • 4 × Mk 95 radars
  • Electronic warfare
    & decoys:
  • SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
  • SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
  • Armament:
  • 2 × Mk 57 Mod3 Sea Sparrow
  • 2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile
  • 3 × Phalanx CIWS
  • Armor: Classified
    Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters
    Aviation facilities: catapults: 4
    aircraft elevators: 4

    USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) is the seventh Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier in the United States Navy, named for Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi. She was commissioned on 9 December 1995. Her home port is Bremerton, Washington.

    Mission and capabilities

    International radio call sign of
    USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)[4]
    ICS November.svg ICS Juliet.svg ICS Charlie.svg ICS Sierra.svg
    November Juliet Charlie Sierra

    The mission of John C. Stennis and her embarked Air Wing (CVW-9) is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward deployed in the global arena. The embarked Air Wing consists of eight to nine squadrons. Attached aircraft are Navy and Marine F/A-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, MH-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 in a crisis. The ship normally operates as the centerpiece of a Carrier Battle Group commanded by a flag officer embarked upon 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.


    The nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was contracted on 29 March 1988, and the keel was laid on 13 March 1991 at Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, VA.

    The ship was christened on 11 November 1993, in honor of Senator John Cornelius Stennis (D-Mississippi) who served in the Senate from 1947 to 1989. The daughter of the ship’s namesake, Mrs. Margaret Stennis-Womble, was the ship’s sponsor. John C. Stennis was commissioned on 9 December 1995 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va, and she conducted flight deck certification in January 1996. The first arrested landing was by a VX-23 F-14B. The ship conducted numerous Carrier Qualifications and Independent Steaming Exercises off the East Coast throughout the next two years. Included among these events was the first carrier landing of an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet on 18 January 1997.

    1998 – World Cruise

    USS John C. Stennis (Left) and the British Invincible-class HMS Illustrious (Right) operating together, April 1998.

    On 26 February 1998 with Carrier Air Wing Seven embarked, John C. Stennis left Norfolk for her maiden deployment, transiting the Suez Canal on 7 March and arriving in the Persian Gulf on 11 March 1998. The ship traveled 8020 nm in 274 hours, an average speed of 29.4 knots (54.4 km/h; 33.8 mph) to relieve USS George Washington in conducting Operation Southern Watch missions. John C. Stennis departed the Persian Gulf on 19 July 1998 for her new home port of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, arriving on 26 August 1998.

    In October 1998, John C. Stennis entered a 6-month Phased Incremental Availability for maintenance and upgrades at North Island, returning to sea in April 1999. During the maintenance period, a jet blast deflector collapsed, severely injuring two sailors.

    On 30 November 1999, John C. Stennis ran aground in a shallow area adjacent to the turning basin near North Island. Silt clogged the intake pipes to the steam condensing systems for the nuclear reactor plants, causing the carrier's two nuclear reactors to be shut down (one reactor by crew, the other automatically) for a period of 45 minutes. John C. Stennis was towed back to her pier for maintenance and observation for the next two days. The cleanup cost was about $2 million.

    2000 – Persian Gulf/Pacific Ocean

    On 7 January 2000, John C. Stennis deployed to the Persian Gulf to relieve USS John F. Kennedy in Operation Southern Watch. During the deployment, the ship made port visits to South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, and Pearl Harbor, before returning to San Diego on 3 July 2000.

    Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, John C. Stennis conducted Noble Eagle missions off the U.S. West Coast. In 2000 and 2001, John C. Stennis was part of Carrier Group 7.

    2001 – Persian Gulf

    On 12 November 2001, two months earlier than scheduled, the ship left on her third deployment to the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, returning to San Diego on 28 May 2002. From June 2002 to January 2003, JCS underwent a seven-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).

    2004 – Pacific Ocean

    From 24 May to 1 November 2004, John C. Stennis conducted her fourth major overseas deployment, participating in Exercise Northern Edge 2004 in the Gulf of Alaska, Rim of the Pacific (RimPac) Exercise off Hawaii, exercises with Kitty Hawk off Japan and goodwill visits to Japan, Malaysia and Western Australia. Shortly after returning from deployment to San Diego, JCS changed her home port to Naval Station Bremerton, Washington on 19 January 2005. Once at Bremerton, John C. Stennis underwent an 11-month Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA), the first time she had been dry-docked since commissioning. Upgrades included a new mast installation The new mast’s structure is the first of its kind. A new type of steel alloy was used, making the mast stiffer and thicker than before. The new mast is also heavier and taller, allowing it to support new antennas the old mast would not have been able to support. Other upgrades included the installation of a new Integrated Bridge System in the pilothouse that will save manpower and provide state-of-the-art displays, as well as other and combat systems upgrades.[5][6][7][8]

    Following the maintenance cycle and pre-deployment training exercises, the carrier returned to Bremerton, Washington, and the carrier was certified surge ready, meaning the ship maintained a high state of readiness in case of an unscheduled deployment.[9]

    2007 – Persian Gulf

    USS John C. Stennis arrives in Bremerton on 31 August 2007.

    On 20 January 2007, John C. Stennis set sail for the Persian Gulf as part of an increase in US military presence within the Middle East. John C. Stennis arrived in the area on 19 February 2007, joining USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the United States Fifth Fleet area of operations.[10] This marked the first time since 2003 that there were two aircraft carrier battle groups in the region simultaneously.

    On 23 May 2007, John C. Stennis, along with eight other warships including the aircraft carrier Nimitz and amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, passed through the Strait of Hormuz. US Navy officials said it was the largest such move since 2003.[11]

    On 31 August 2007 John C. Stennis returned to Bremerton.

    2009 – Western Pacific

    John C. Stennis departed Bremerton for a 6-month deployment to the Western Pacific on 13 January 2009. On 24 April, the ship arrived in Singapore. That same day, one of the ship's sailors was crushed and killed while working from a small harbor boat to secure a drain that discharges oily water from John C. Stennis's aircraft catapults.[12]

    On 29 April, the ship's executive officer, Commander David L. Burnham, was relieved by Rear Admiral Mark A. Vance over unspecified personal conduct. Burnham was reassigned to a base in San Diego, pending an investigation.[13]

    After participating in exercises with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Republic of Korea, as well as joint exercise Northern Edge 2009, John C. Stennis returned from deployment in early July 2009. Carrier Air Wing 9 debarked on 6 July at NAS North Island,[14] prior to the ship's arrival at her homeport of Bremerton on 10 July.[15]

    2010 – 2011

    Final flight over Iraq (18 December 2011)

    On 30 March 2011, a VMFAT-101 F/A-18C Hornet suffered an uncontained catastrophic engine failure, exploded and caught fire just before launch from John C. Stennis about 100 miles (160 km) off the coast of San Diego during launch and recovery training operations. The aircraft was at full power, in tension on the catapult when the accident occurred. Eleven flight deck crewmen were injured while the pilot was unhurt. There was no major damage to the carrier but the aircraft was a total loss.[16]

    On 18 December 2011, the final command-and-control mission for U.S. forces over Iraq was flown by an E-2C Hawkeye (pictured) from Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112), catapulting off the carrier John C. Stennis at 7:32 am and returning at 11:04 a.m, both local time. This mission effectively ended U.S. naval support for Operation New Dawn.[17]


    On 3 January 2012, Iranian General Ataollah Salehi warned John C. Stennis "not to return to the Persian Gulf."[18] The United States dismissed the warning.[19]

    On 7 January, John C. Stennis led the rescue of an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, the Al Mulahi, following its seizure by pirates. The pirates abused the ship and Iranian flag to search for other ships to hijack, while holding the original crew hostage. When some of the pirates attempted to board a Bahamian-flagged cargo ship, Sunshine, it radioed for assistance. John C. Stennis dispatched a helicopter and cruiser to assist. A boarding party captured the pirates who attacked Sunshine, fed them, then released them temporarily. A helicopter then secretly followed the pirates back to their mother ship, Al Mulahi. Crew from the USS Kidd (DDG-100) then boarded the fishing vessel (upon permission in Urdu from the captain), and arrested all of the pirates with no casualties.[20] On 2 March 2012, John C Stennis returned home from its 7-month deployment to homeport Bremerton, Washington.

    On 7 July 2012, crew members were informed that John C. Stennis would be returning to the Middle East in August, much sooner than expected.[21][22]

    On 27 August 2012, John C. Stennis departed to the Middle East originally for six months, but was extended to eight.[23]


    On 1 April 2013, USS John C Stennis arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore. Local ITE students were invited for a guided tour inside the aircraft carrier.[24] At 12:45 on 3 May 2013, the Stennis arrived at its home port of Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington, the completion of an eight-month, 66,000-mile deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. During this deployment, squadron aircraft flew more than 1,300 sorties from the carrier's deck in the war in Afghanistan.[25]

    John C. Stennis Carrier Battle Group

    USS John C. Stennis (top left) in a 5-country multinational fleet, during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Oman Sea. In four descending columns, from left to right: ITS Maestrale (F 570), De Grasse (D 612); USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Charles De Gaulle (R 91), Surcouf (F 711); USS Port Royal (CG 73), HMS Ocean (L12), USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), HNLMS Van Amstel (F 831); and ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne (D 560).

    The JCS battlegroup (or Carrier Strike Group 3, CSG-3) is equipped and trained to work as a forward deployed force providing a deterrent force as well as serving to protect U.S. interests abroad.

    John C. Stennis is the flagship of the battlegroup, and commands the group's air wing Carrier Air Wing 9. John C. Stennis is also home to the commander of Destroyer Squadron 21 (DESRON 21).

    Ships of DESRON 21

    Other elements of JCS Battle Group

    Squadrons of CVW-9

    Aircraft parked on the flight deck of USS John C. Stennis.

    • Strike Fighter Squadron 192 (VFA-192) "Golden Dragons"
    • Strike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) "Warhawks"
    • Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
    • Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
    • Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) "Wizards"
    • Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) "Golden Hawks"
    • Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 (HSC-8) "Eight-Ballers"
    • Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (HSM-71) "Raptors"
    • Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Detachment 4 (VRC-30) "Providers"

    Ship's seal

    Question book-new.svg

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    USS John Stennis CVN-74 Crest.png

    John C. Stennis's Seal was produced from the combined efforts of several crew members with historical help from Stennis Center for Public Service, John C. Stennis Space Center and United States Senate Historian. The Seal implies peace through strength, just as Senator John C. Stennis was referred to as an "unwavering advocate of peace through strength" by President Ronald Reagan, when the ship's name was announced in June 1988.

    The circular shape signifies the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier's unique capability to circle the world without refueling while providing a forward presence from the sea. The predominant colors are red, white, blue and gold, the same as those of the United States and the Navy. The outer border, taken from one version of a U.S. Senate crest, represents the strength through unity of the ship's crew. The four gold bands and eight ties denote John C. Stennis' four decades (41 years) in the Senate and the eight presidents he served with, from President Truman to President Reagan. The seven stars in the blue border represent his seven terms in the Senate and characterize John C. Stennis as the seventh Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The red and white stripes inside the blue border represent the American flag and the American people John C. Stennis serves. They also honor the courage and sacrifice of the United States' armed forces.

    The eagle and shield is a representation of the gilt eagle and shield overlooking the Old Senate Chamber. The shield represents the United States of America. The twenty stars represent the US's twentieth state, Mississippi, the home of John C. Stennis. The three arrows in the eagle's talons symbolize the Ship and Air Wing's ability to project power. The burst of light emanating from the shield, representative of the emergence of a new nation in the United States Senate Seal, portrays the birth of over 25 major Naval Aviation programs under Senator Stennis' leadership, including all aircraft carriers from USS Forrestal to USS Harry S. Truman, and aircraft from the F-4 Phantom to the F/A-18 Hornet. The eagle is representative of John C. Stennis' stature in the Senate, where he was respected and admired as a "soaring eagle" by some of his colleagues.

    The ship herself is pictured in the seal. On the edges of the flight deck are the words "Honor, Courage, Commitment" which are the United States Navy's Core Values.

    The Seal, after selection by the ship's crew, was submitted to Mrs. Margaret Stennis Womble, the ship's Sponsor and daughter of Senator Stennis, and to Mrs. John Hampton Stennis, the Matron of Honor and wife of Senator Stennis' son, for their approval. In February 1995 they approved the design.

    In popular culture

    • In 1996, it was used in scenes from the movie Executive Decision featuring the VF-84 Jolly Rogers F-14 aircraft launching from its deck.
    • John C. Stennis was attacked on screen in 2002's The Sum of all Fears, she is crippled by Russian bombers equipped with anti-ship missiles.[27]
    • In 2002, This American Life show 206 describes life aboard John C. Stennis during missions over Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
    • In the 2009 science fiction movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, John C. Stennis was seen during the film's final battle in Egypt. This constitutes a major continuity error, since earlier in the film the carrier is seen suffering catastrophic impact damage and then sinking (the ship's pennant number being clearly visible on the island in the scene). However, in news broadcasts related to the sinking, the ship is referred to as the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).[28] She is contacted as the leader of a battle group in the Gulf of Aqaba to authorize a railgun strike that destroys a massive Decepticon named Devastator.
    • In the 2011 game Homefront, the carrier is seen half sunk just outside of Modesto, California.
    • A flyby of John C. Stennis while stationed at Naval Air Station North Island is also featured in a segment of the Soarin' Over California ride at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California and at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
    • In the Tom Clancy novel Debt of Honor, the carrier is crippled by a Japanese Torpedo, though it is repaired.
    • The carrier's number has been featured in the military legal drama series JAG and its spin-off NCIS. In JAG, the number was that of the fictional carrier USS Patrick Henry. The number was shown on an unnamed carrier in a season 6 episode of NCIS.
    • The Keith Douglass book series Carrier is set a fictitious USS Thomas Jefferson with John C. Stennis's hull number.
    • In Pacific Rim the Stennis carries a kaij' corpse on her flight deck.
    • In the 2006 PSP video game SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2, the ship's pennant number is visible near the city of Kobriaga on the main lobby and north of the region of Bergi on campaign lobby which indicates that the ship was deployed to carry and support the SEALs for the whole duration of the operation in the fictional country of Adjikistan

    See also


    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "USS John C. Stennis". Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
    2. "John C. Stennis Strike Group". Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
    3. Polmar, Norman (2004). The Naval Institute guide to the ships and aircraft of the U.S. fleet. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-59114-685-8. 
    4. "USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)". NavSource Online. NavSource Naval History. 18 February 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
    5. Gethings, JO3 Chris, USN (29 January 2005). "Kitsap County Welcomes Stennis". US Navy. NNS050129-02. 
    6. Flabi, JO3 Nick, USN (21 January 2005). "Stennis Enters Dry Dock". US Navy. NNS050121-11. 
    7. Owens, JO2 (SW/AW) Gabriel, USN (4 May 2005). "Stennis Raises New Mast with Tradition". US Navy. NNS050504-03. 
    8. Jackson, JO1 Krishna, USN (6 September 2005). "Stennis Back in the Water". US Navy. NNS050906-06. 
    9. Gethings, MCS2 Christopher, USN (23 July 2006). "Stennis Returns Home Surge Ready". USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs. NNS060723-02. 
    10. Christensen, Nathan (20 February 2007). "USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Arrives in 5th Fleet". US Navy. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2007. 
    11. Abbas, Mohammed (23 May 2007). "Nine U.S. warships in Gulf for show of force". 
    12. Scutro, Andrew (29 April 2009). "Stennis sailor killed in Singapore identified". 
    13. "Navy cites misconduct, relieves USS Stennis' executive officer, No. 2 in command of carrier". 30 April 2009. [dead link]
    14. Owsley, MCS1(SW) Steve (6 July 2009). "Carrier Air Wing 9 Completes 2009 Deployment". USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs. NNS090706-15. 
    15. "Stennis returns to Bremerton". Navy Times. 10 July 2009. 
    16. Kucher, Karen; Shroder, Susan (31 March 2011). "Two sailors remain in hospital after Stennis jet fire". 
    17. "USS John C. Stennis Launches Navy's Final Air Mission over Iraq". USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs. 20 December 2011. NNS111220-02. 
    18. "Iran army chief warns US aircraft carrier not to return to Persian Gulf in new tough rhetoric". 3 January 2012. [dead link]
    19. "U.S. Dismisses Iranian Warning Against Navy Carrier in Gulf". Fox News. 3 January 2012. 
    20. Chivers, C. J. (6 January 2012). "For Iranians Waylaid by Pirates, U.S. to the Rescue". 
    21. Friedrich, Ed (9 July 2012). "USS Stennis going right back to Mideast". Kitsap Sun. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. 
    22. Parrish, Karen (24 August 2012). "Sailors: Early Deployment Tough, but 'We're Needed'". 
    23. "Where are the Carriers?". 
    24. "Aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis docks in Singapore". 4 April 2013. 
    25. "USS John C. Stennis is home". 3 May 2013. 
    26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 "COMDESRON Two One". Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
    27. "The Sum of all Fears". 
    28. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen". 

    External links

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