Navy Dads


Carrier Families

This group is to bring family's with Sailors serving aboard Aircraft Carriers together. This is the place to share information about life aboard Aircraft Carriers in the United States Navy.

Members: 97
Latest Activity: Dec 10, 2020

Carrier Families Sponsor


The Carriers


General Characteristics, Enterprise Class

Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, VA.
Date Deployed: November 25, 1961 (USS Enterprise).
Propulsion: Eight nuclear reactors, four shafts.
Length: 1,101 feet 2 inches (335.64 meters).
Beam: 133 feet (39.9 meters); 252 feet (75.6 meters).
Displacement: 89,600 tons ( 81,283.8 metric tons) full load.
Speed: 30+ knots (34.5 miles per hour).
Crew: Ship's Company: 3,350 - Air Wing 2,480.
Armament: Two Sea Sparrow missile launchers, three Phalanx 20 mm CIWS mounts.
Aircraft: 85.




General Characteristics, Nimitz Class

Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, VA.
Date Deployed: May 3, 1975 (USS Nimitz).
Unit Cost: About $4.5 billion each.
Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts.
Length: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters).
Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters); Flight Deck Width: 252 feet (76.8 meters).
Displacement: Approximately 97,000 tons (87,996.9 metric tons) full load.
Speed: 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour).
Crew: Ship's Company: 3,200 - Air Wing: 2,480.
Armament: Two or three (depending on modification) NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts: (3 on Nimitz and Dwight D. Eisenhower and 4 on Vinson and later ships of the class.).
Aircraft: 85.


USS NIMITZ (CVN 68), Everett, WA


USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), Coronado, CA




USS JOHN C STENNIS (CVN 74). Bremerton, WA



USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77), Norfolk, VA



General Characteristics, Gerald R. Ford class


Builder: Northrop Grumman Newport News, Newport News, Va.
Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts.
Length: 1,092 feet
Beam: 134 feet, Flight Deck Width: 256 feet.
Displacement: approximately 100,000 long tons full load.
Speed: 30+ knots (34.5 miles per hour)
Crew: 4,660 (ship, air wing and staff).
Armament: Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, Rolling Airframe Missile, CIWS.
Aircraft: 75+

USS GERALD R FORD (CVN 78) Under construction

USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CVN 79) Construction begins in 2012


Carriers of the Ford class will incorporate fourteen new design features including:

Advanced arresting gear.
Automation, which reduces crew requirements by several hundred from the Nimitz class carrier.
The updated RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile system.
AN/SPY-3 dual-band radar (DBR), as developed for Zumwalt class destroyers.
An Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) in place of traditional steam catapults for launching aircraft.
A new nuclear reactor design (the A1B reactor) for greater power generation.
Stealthier features to help reduce radar profile.
The ability to launch the F-35C Lightning II.



Discussion Forum

Care Packages

Started by Pete Anderson. Last reply by April Ewing Apr 11, 2012. 11 Replies

Family day on the carrier

Started by Judy Horowitz. Last reply by Maryellen May 17, 2010. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Carrier Families to add comments!

Comment by Rod Clark on April 15, 2012 at 3:21pm

I saw somewhere, maybe on Navy for Moms, that there will be a pre-deployment picnic the day before deployment.  My son, too, is on the Ike and make his "first IKE" deployment (3 previous on the Stennis).  Different carriers do things different in many ways.  He has been on board 3 months and says it is a dump compared to the Stennis and that there are a lot of everything else that is not good.

Comment by Kerry Tams on April 15, 2012 at 1:38pm

One last bit Bentley, and not to be forgotten, is the extreme and indescribable pride that wells up inside. So much so that it seems your chest will explode even as the tears fall. Something that made it nearly impossible to speak.

If at ALL possible and you have the opportunity, go on the Tiger Cruise. An experience of a lifetime!! You will be standing on the flight deck while they launch and recover aircraft right in front of you and get to experience an airshow with no equal. Ever feel a sonic boom at sea? WOW!

Comment by Kerry Tams on April 15, 2012 at 11:45am

Bentley, the mood will be very subdued especially in comparison to homecoming. We were in Norfolk in Jan. 2011 when Enterprise deployed and that was the case. We missed this years deployment at our sons request ... kids. Other than heavy traffic at the gate in the morning, there really was not a large crowd at the pier. Keep in mind the temp's were in 20's so it was very uncomfortable so that may have had an effect. There is also a crowd that will gather near the cafe at the bridge/tunnel to see them go by, and some folks watch them pull away from the pier and then race to the bridge.

Jim is correct - kleenex will be the order of the day. It is inspiring, humbling, extremely moving and an experience I would never trade anything for. I would suggest, if she hasn't already, that your wife get in touch with others from the Ike that will be there. Making it an event of a couple of days with meeting up, getting to know folks and also getting to share your sailors was just as important to us as being on the pier.

I love the Ike - during Tiger Cruise when Enterprise returned home last July, we were so fortunate to pull alongside the Ike as they were conducting flight operations in the Atlantic and they put on a hell of a show. It was just such a unique perspective to see F-18's land and launch from the Enterprise.

Our best to your son and his shipmates for an uneventful and safe deployment! And thank you to you and your wife for raising one of America's finest!!l

A link to a vid I made of the Jan. 2011 deployment:

Comment by NavyDads Admin (Paul) on April 15, 2012 at 11:38am

not much "fan fare" at Jim said, manning the rails and lots of tears from wives and girlfriends......that is about it

Comment by Bentley Patterson on April 15, 2012 at 11:02am

My son is deploying on the Ike, most likely in June.  My wife is planning to go out to Norfolk to see the ship depart.  Unfortunately, I cannot go.  What can she expect in terms of ceremony, fan fare, etc. the day of deployment?

Comment by FAY (CAROL) on April 6, 2012 at 12:11pm

HAPPY EASTER- To all our MILITARY Famlies, to all our TROOPS here & deployed.....God Bless our Sailors . Fair Winds & Following Seas.


Comment by Scott Kinsala on April 4, 2012 at 6:14pm

Kerry, Glad to hear you and yours are all OK.

Comment by April Ewing on April 4, 2012 at 4:40pm

Thank you Kerry for the update.  Sorry for your BIL's damages, but so glad no persons injured.  I had heard upwards of 50 people injured/dead.  Not sure how accurate that is.  We are just 150miles or so West of you in Abilene.

Comment by Kerry Tams on April 4, 2012 at 3:25pm

April, thank you for your concern. We're all fine but have some coworkers that had homes damaged. My brother-in-law lives very close to DFW airport and was "maybe" a mile from that one - they got lots of big hail and have a dented truck and lots of downed limbs. Thankfully no one has been seriously injured.

Comment by April Ewing on April 4, 2012 at 1:19pm

Checking on the Ramseys and the Tams, both in the DFW Metroplex area.  Are you and your families okay?  Saw the tornado and its damage from yesterday. Please let me know your status.


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