Military


Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Group
Dwight D. Eisenhower Battle Group
IKEBATGRU
CVN-69 Dwight D. Eisenhower
"IKE"

The mission of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is to provide sea-based tactical air power for defense of America's right to freedom of the seas as well as the protection of United States sovereignty. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is capable of projecting tactical air power over the sea and inland, as well as providing sea-based air defense and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. IKE can execute response options ranging from peacetime presence to general war.

The air wing can destroy enemy aircraft, ships, submarines, and land targets, or lay mines hundreds of miles from the ship. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower'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 in USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and consisting of four-to-six other ships.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower's two nuclear reactors give her virtually unlimited range and endurance and a top speed in excess of 30 knots. The ship's four catapults and four arresting gear engines enable her to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously. The ship carries approximately three million gallons of fuel for her aircraft and escorts, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower also has extensive repair capabilities, including a fully equipped Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, a micro-miniature electronics repair shop, and numerous ship repair shops.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was authorized by Congress in fiscal year 1970. The carrier, named after the nation's 34th president, was christened at 11:11 a.m., Oct. 11, 1975, by Mrs. Mamie Doud-Eisenhower, the ship's sponsor and widow of the late president. IKE was commissioned on Oct. 18, 1977 and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. After 14 months of fleet training, IKE set sail for her first Mediterranean deployment.

In 1980, IKE's second extended deployment tallied 254 days at sea with only a five-day stopover in Singapore. After its fourth deployment IKE sailed into Newport News and Drydock in October 1985 for a complex overhaul. The 18-month yard period included the addition of the Close-in Weapons System, NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System, Navy Tactical Data System, Anti-Submarine Warfare module, communications upgrades and rehabilitation of 1,831 berths in 25 compartments. IKE re-entered the fleet in April 1987.

In 1990, IKE completed a sixth Mediterranean Sea deployment. The deployment became a commemorative event in the worldwide 'Dwight D. Eisenhower Centennial,' celebrating the 100th anniversary of the late president's birth. During D-Day anniversary ceremonies off the coast of Normandy, IKE's son, John Eisenhower, and D-Day veterans embarked in the ship while Carrier Air Wing Seven conducted a memorial flyover of the American cemetery at Omaha Beach.

In response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, IKE became the first carrier to conduct sustained operations in the Red Sea. IKE was the second nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez canal. IKE served as a ready striking force in the event Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia, and participated in maritime interception operations in support of a United National embargo against Iraq.

After completion of an extensive shipyard period and work ups, IKE deployed Sept. 26, 1991 to the Arabian Gulf to continue multi-national operations with coalition forces in support of Operation Desert Storm. IKE returned to Norfolk April 2, 1992. On Jan. 6, 1993, IKE entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul and conversion,and returned to the fleet November 12, 1993.

By Aug 2002 the Dwight D. Eisenhower was undergoing complex renovations and major technological upgrades during its scheduled half-life overhaul. Upon completion of this extended industrial phase, these modernizations will further the ship's service life well beyond 2025.

On December 16, 2002 Northrop Grumman Corporation announced that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) had moved out of dry dock one month ahead of schedule and was halfway through its three year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH). This was the ship's one and only refueling in a 50-year life-span. Eisenhower was the second ship of the Nimitz class to undergo this major life-cycle milestone. Maintenance and repair work performed while the ship was in dry dock included the complete overhaul of the propellers and shafts and the application of a new underwater hull paint system.

Eisenhower then moved to an outfitting berth at Northrop Grumman Newport News. Work performed at this location included the completion of the overhaul of the propulsion plant, habitability spaces, galleys, the outfitting of the combat spaces and an extensive test program to ensure ship readiness. The Eisenhower was in for what is no mere pit stop but a 39-month, $1.5 billion project. When Ike sailed out toward the end of 2004, Vinson sailed in.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Bringing to the Presidency his prestige as commanding general of the victorious forces in Europe during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower obtained a truce in Korea and worked incessantly during his two terms to ease the tensions of the Cold War. He pursued the moderate policies of "Modern Republicanism," pointing out as he left office, "America is today the strongest, most influential, and most productive nation in the world."

Born in Texas in 1890, brought up in Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower was the third of seven sons. He excelled in sports in high school, and received an appointment to West Point. Stationed in Texas as a second lieutenant, he met Mamie Geneva Doud, whom he married in 1916.

In his early Army career, he excelled in staff assignments, serving under Generals John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, and Walter Krueger. After Pearl Harbor, General George C. Marshall called him to Washington for a war plans assignment. He commanded the

Allied Forces landing in North Africa in November 1942; on D-Day, 1944, he was Supreme Commander of the troops invading France.

After the war, he became President of Columbia University, then took leave to assume supreme command over the new NATO forces being assembled in 1951. Republican emissaries to his headquarters near Paris persuaded him to run for President in 1952.

"I like Ike" was an irresistible slogan; Eisenhower won a sweeping victory.

Negotiating from military strength, he tried to reduce the strains of the Cold War. In 1953, the signing of a truce brought an armed peace along the border of South Korea. The death of Stalin the same year caused shifts in relations with Russia.

New Russian leaders consented to a peace treaty neutralizing Austria. Meanwhile, both Russia and the United States had developed hydrogen bombs. With the threat of such destructive force hanging over the world, Eisenhower, with the leaders of the British, French, and Russian governments, met at Geneva in July 1955.

The President proposed that the United States and Russia exchange blueprints of each other's military establishments and "provide within our countries facilities for aerial photography to the other country." The Russians greeted the proposal with silence, but were so cordial throughout the meetings that tensions relaxed.

Suddenly, in September 1955, Eisenhower suffered a heart attack in Denver, Colorado. After seven weeks he left the hospital, and in February 1956 doctors reported his recovery. In November he was elected for his second term.

In domestic policy the President pursued a middle course, continuing most of the New Deal and Fair Deal programs, emphasizing a balanced budget. As desegregation of schools began, he sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to assure compliance with the orders of a Federal court; he also ordered the complete desegregation of the Armed Forces. "There must be no second class citizens in this country," he wrote.

Eisenhower concentrated on maintaining world peace. He watched with pleasure the development of his "atoms for peace" program--the loan of American uranium to "have not" nations for peaceful purposes.

Before he left office in January 1961, for his farm in Gettysburg, he urged the necessity of maintaining an adequate military strength, but cautioned that vast, long-continued military expenditures could breed potential dangers to our way of life. He concluded with a prayer for peace "in the goodness of time." Both themes remained timely and urgent when he died, after a long illness, on March 28, 1969.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list