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Loading F-18 Fire Shell on USS Gerald R Ford

NORFOLK (Nov. 4, 2019) Sailors assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) air department onload an F/A-18 Hornet shell onto the ship’s flight deck. The aircraft shell will be used for training by Sailors to simulate firefighting response to aircraft casualties. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

One of the most important roles on any ship is ensuring fire protection. The US Navy’s latest Super Carrier, the USS Gerald R Ford, is no exception.

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USS Stennis November Flight Ops in Atlantic

An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 5, 2019. The John C. Stennis is underway conducting routine operations in support of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Grant G. Grady)

The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) conducting flight operations in the Atlantic. The Stennis, when fully crewed, has a capacity of more than 6,000 officers and crew.

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It’s Aircraft Carrier Month! USS Ford Takes the Stage

US Navy Celebrates Aircraft Carrier Month in November

Today kicks off National Aircraft Carrier month here in the US! It’s a month-long celebration of these behemoth ships. The US Navy is by far the world’s largest operator aircraft carriers, so there will be plenty to see!

We’ll start it off with some stunning footage of the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) undergoing high speed turn tests for the first time earlier this week. Your jaw might drop from the size of these ships, but just wait until you see how maneuverable they are!

Get ready to strap down the flight deck – it’s about to get a little rough.

While the Ford project has had some serious delays and cost overruns, this is still a very gratifying test to see completed successfully. Finally she’s out on the seas, and showing what she’s capable of!

More Carriers All Month Long

Remember today is just the start of Aircraft Carrier Month! We have some pretty incredible content lined up that we’re very excited to show. Keep checking back often.

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Why is the F-35 a Game Changer in the Pacific?

The F-35 is the one of the most well known, and expensive, defense projects in human history. With new capabilities just now hitting the battlefield, the full implications of its deployment are still be realized on the world stage. With Western air superiority established in much of the Middle East area of operations, the Pacific region stands to be impacted more by the F-35’s arrival to the scene.

Even more intimidating is that same carrier stocked up with fifth-generation US stealth fighters

An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 122 lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). America is currently underway conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vance Hand/Released)

Japan has been flying the F-35, right next to China, since early 2018. And just last month, the F-35 was officially welcomed into the South Korean Air Force. In the space of 24 months, the US and two of its allies deployed the stealthiest, and one of the most capable, fighter jets in the world, right in China’s back yard. Additionally the US Marines now operate the F-35 aboard amphibious assault aircraft carriers criss-crossing the South China Sea, pushing back against China’s advances and increasing territorial claims.

Two U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), standby on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific, Sept. 28, 2019. 3rd MAW is capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and continues to promote the defense of our nation and its interests. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)

As deliveries to allies continue to ramp up, along with the delivery of the Navy’s variant, the F-35C, pressure on China is only likely to continue increasing. When the F-35C is fully operational with the Navy, the US will also be able to employ its fleet of nuclear-powered Super Carriers to push US stealth fighters right where they need to be.

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), prepares to land on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific, Sept. 28, 2019. 3rd MAW is capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and continues to promote the defense of our nation and its interests. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 30, 2019) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Sabrina Bales, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6, signals an F-35B Lightning II assigned to the Flying Leathernecks of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 122 to take off from the ship’s flight deck. America is currently underway conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vance Hand/Released)

A fully crewed Nimitz-class Super Carrier is an awesome and frightening sight to behold by adversarial nations. The only thing even more intimidating is that same carrier stocked up with fifth-generation US stealth fighters instead of their old Super Hornets. Much of the world’s attention is expected to continue looking towards the Indo-Pacific. The F-35’s arrival on the scene, only sure to continue increasing, will change the game in the Pacific region.

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TOP 10 USS Ronald Reagan Photos from 2019

The USS Ronald Reagan has had an eventful year so far. With 2019 nearly three-quarters of the way complete, the ship has already amassed quite a collection of impressive photos from operations so far in 2019. We collected and ranked the Top 10 USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Photos from 2019 so far, and are presenting them all in order in this post.

Take a look at some of the most incredible and inspiring views from the Gipper this year, starting out with #10 below!

Number 10
CORAL SEA (July 11, 2019) The U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a formation of 17 other ships from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) during Talisman Sabre 2019. Talisman Sabre 2019 illustrates the closeness of the Australian and U.S. alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship. This is the eighth iteration of this exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Tarleton/Released)
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USS Abraham Lincoln in Arabian Sea

ARABIAN SEA (May 17, 2019) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and the Wasp-class Amphibious Assault Ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) sail alongside as the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) and Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (KSGARG) conduct joint operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The ABECSG and KSGARG, with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, are prepared to respond to contingencies and to defend U.S. forces and interests in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Released)

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F-35 & F-18 Formation Over Arabian Sea

Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)
Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)

Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)

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USS Bush Honors Its Namesake

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 2, 2018) Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) honor the ship's namesake, former President George H. W. Bush, by lighting Bush's initials and presidential number while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 2, 2018. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Nov. 30, 2018, in Houston, Texas at the age of 94. Bush flew 58 combat missions as a Navy pilot during World War II, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and shared the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the light aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto (CVL 30). Bush will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda and be given a state funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., before being laid to rest next to former first lady Barbara Bush in College Station, Texas. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 2, 2018) Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) honor the ship's namesake, former President George H. W. Bush, by lighting Bush's initials and presidential number while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 2, 2018. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Nov. 30, 2018, in Houston, Texas at the age of 94. Bush flew 58 combat missions as a Navy pilot during World War II, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and shared the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the light aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto (CVL 30). Bush will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda and be given a state funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., before being laid to rest next to former first lady Barbara Bush in College Station, Texas. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 2, 2018) Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) honor the ship’s namesake, former President George H. W. Bush, by lighting Bush’s initials and presidential number while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 2, 2018. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Nov. 30, 2018, in Houston, Texas at the age of 94. Bush flew 58 combat missions as a Navy pilot during World War II, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and shared the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the light aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto (CVL 30). Bush will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda and be given a state funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., before being laid to rest next to former first lady Barbara Bush in College Station, Texas. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

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USS Truman Flight Deck in Norwegian Sea

NORWEGIAN SEA (Oct. 18, 2018) Sailors participate in a foreign object debris walkdown on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Currently operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Harry S. Truman will continue to foster cooperation with regional allies and partners, strengthen regional stability, and remain vigilant, agile and dynamic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Maxwell Higgins/Released)

 

NORWEGIAN SEA (Oct. 18, 2018) Sailors participate in a foreign object debris walkdown on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Currently operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Harry S. Truman will continue to foster cooperation with regional allies and partners, strengthen regional stability, and remain vigilant, agile and dynamic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Maxwell Higgins/Released)

NORWEGIAN SEA (Oct. 18, 2018) Sailors participate in a foreign object debris walkdown on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Currently operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Harry S. Truman will continue to foster cooperation with regional allies and partners, strengthen regional stability, and remain vigilant, agile and dynamic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Maxwell Higgins/Released)

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US Marine F-35B in Qatar

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

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Full Afterburner F-18 Super Hornet Engine Test USS Washington

Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Christopher Cogar from Cleveland inspects a F-414 jet engine's afterburners during an engine test on the fantail aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). Sailors working in George Washington's jet shop maintain, repair and test damaged jet engines. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Pittman/Released)

Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Christopher Cogar from Cleveland inspects a F-414 jet engine's afterburners during an engine test on the fantail aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). Sailors working in George Washington's jet shop maintain, repair and test damaged jet engines. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Pittman/Released)

Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Cogar from Cleveland inspects a F-414 jet engine’s afterburners during an engine test on the fantail aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). Sailors working in George Washington’s jet shop maintain, repair and test damaged jet engines. George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Pittman/Released)

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Super Hornet Grabbing the Wire USS Bush

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 20, 2018) A F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). GHWB is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Carson J. Davis)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 20, 2018) A F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). GHWB is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Carson J. Davis)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 20, 2018) A F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). GHWB is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Carson J. Davis)

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USS Bush Flight Operations In Atlantic

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 20, 2018) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). GHWB is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Carson J. Davis)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 20, 2018) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). GHWB is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Carson J. Davis)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 20, 2018) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). GHWB is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Carson J. Davis)

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US Navy F-35 Carrier Landing

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 22, 2018) Seaman Savannah Reid observes an F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 approach the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jeremiah Bartelt/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 22, 2018) Seaman Savannah Reid observes an F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 approach the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jeremiah Bartelt/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 22, 2018) Seaman Savannah Reid observes an F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 approach the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jeremiah Bartelt/Released)

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Navy’s Newest Fighter At Sea

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 23, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 taxies on the flight deck after landing aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler C. Priestley/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 23, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 taxies on the flight deck after landing aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler C. Priestley/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 23, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 taxies on the flight deck after landing aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler C. Priestley/Released)