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USS Ronald Reagan Visits Santa Barbara

Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2008

By: Dave Retz (Expired article)

Santa Barbara, CA -

The US Carrier Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is paying a visit to Santa Barbara at the request of the Santa Barbara Naval League, and lots of officers and sailors are enjoying Santa Barbara County and Santa Ynez Valley.

The CVN-76 (Carrier Vessel Nuclear-76) is the ninth of ten vessels of the "Nimitz Class", which are nuclear powered. Each of the Nimitz class vessels are able to operate for about 20 years between refuelings and major overhauls. The "Ronald Reagan" is currently the largest in displacement (weight) than any other naval vessel, and is five inches longer than the Nimitz, the first of the series of ten; size does matter. (The tenth in the Nimitz series, the George H.W. Bush, will be commissioned this year (2008) at the Newport News shipyard in Virginia.)

An aircraft carrier is a floating city, a home for about 3,000+ people as the support of the Naval vessel, and an additional 2,000+ people including pilots and air support for flight operations.

The ship in the figure is shown with a single F/A-18 aircraft onboard, stripped bare while on leave as in Santa Barbara. Aircraft leave the ship when it's about 5 miles out of its home port one-by-one, taking off continuously to reach a training station - in this case, Lemoore, California. On leave, the ship is currently bare excepting the lone aircraft on the deck.

The Nimitz class of "Super-carriers" is amazing: except for the fuel used by aircraft, the ship is 99% carbon energy free. The Ronald Reagan recently rescued a teen with a ruptured appendix on a cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific and performed an appendectomy in the on-board hospital.

A high-res photo of the Ronald Reagan taken from the end of Santa Barbara pier (Stearns Wharf): Photo from Stearns Wharf, , Jan 11, 2008.

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