Couple o’ Carriers

Here’s a shot from Navy News Stand:

Pacific Ocean (Feb. 11, 2006) — The nuclear-powered aircraft carriers USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) sail along side each other after a replenishment at sea (RAS). Nimitz is currently preparing for a major propulsion plant examination off the coast of Southern California U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Shannon E. Renfroe (RELEASED)

Click for bigger pic. If you look closely at the Stennis, you’ll notice this:


Is Murdoc dreaming? Or does that look like an F-14? What’s that doing there?

Correct me if I’m wrong.

For more RAS pics, see this, this, this, this, and this.


  1. Tim: That view from above *is* a Hornet, but it’s also the USS Nimitz, not the Stennis. In the shot I posted, the vertical stabilizers are really vertical, not angled like an F/A-18s. Mike: LOL! What is weird is that the last two squadrons of Tomcats are currently aboard the USS Roosevelt in the Persian Gulf. When the Roosevelt returns in a month or two, the last of the Cats will be retired. So what is the Stennis doing with one on her deck?

  2. Murdoc, Training for the flight deck crews. If you would be fortunate to transport down to that deck and take a look at that Tomcat, you’d see it would lack engines, ejection seats, and most every other aeronautical thing that are otherwise necessary to make it fly. They use those old carcass to train flight deck crews in towing, positioning, handling, etc. The NIMITZ has a Hornet carcass on its deck for the same purpose. Pinch

  3. Thanks Pinch! I wonder if the deck crews have trouble distinguishing between Tomcat carcasses and operational Hornets. (Did I just say that out loud?)

  4. lol Murdoc….not a *lot* of diff in operational capabilities between a dead Tom and a live Hornette, but what the heck….time marches on. I’ll send you updates on the Tomcat Fly-in of VF-213 and 31 next month at Oceana – will be there, with Digital Rebel and its 300mm zoom at the ready. It’ll be on as well And if you haven’t had a chance, check out – some of the best images and message boards on these last days of the Tomcat. Pinch

  5. Comrades, I HATE to see the Tomcats retired. I remember….sigh….when they were introduced. I also felt the sadness when the last of the A6’s were retired too. Great planes, and great men who crewed them. That leaves the Navy with only the P-3’s and the Greyhounds with props. When they are gone, it will truly be the end of an era. I’ve a little over 4K hours in Naval aircraft. No matter where I am, I can still close my eyes and smell the JP mixed with salt air. It never leaves you. It’s like the laughter of your child. You can never forget it. The Navy Air community is entering a transition period over the next couple of decades. I’m not certain I like where it’s heading, but I can’t say either that I know where it will end up. Respects to all, Gwedd

  6. Its funny you mention the sweet intermingling of sea air and JP-5. I was on an AOR for four years, and have a distinctly different reaction when I remember those smells… OPPE was no fun either.

  7. TR Traps Last Tomcat from Combat Mission During their final deployment with TR, VF-31 and 213 collectively completed 1,163 combat sorties totaling 6,876 flight hours, and dropped 9,500 pounds of ordnance during reconnaissance, surveillance, and close air support missions in support of OIF. VF-31 pilots who are making the transition will begin F/A-18E (single seat) training in October, and the squadron will be safe for flight in April 2007. This will make VF-31 the last official Tomcat squadron in the Navy.