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Carl Vinson Strike Group
Carl Vinson Battle Group
CVN-70 Carl Vinson
"Gold Eagle"

After extensive work up and sea trials, the Carl Vinson with a crew of almost 6,000 Sailors departed Norfolk, Va., on March 1, 1983, and embarked on an eight-month around the world cruise. Carl Vinson steamed in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South China Sea, Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean en route to its new homeport of Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif. On Oct. 28, 1983, Carl Vinson sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time as it entered San Francisco Bay.

In 1984 Carl Vinson received the highest marks ever awarded an aircraft carrier during an operational readiness examination in February. In March, the ship and crew became "San Francisco's Own" in a formal adoption ceremony. In May, Carl Vinson participated in RIMPAC '84, a multi-national exercise involving ships from nations which "Rim of the Pacific" including Canada, Japan, Australia, as well as the United Kingdom. On Oct. 14, Carl Vinson began a seven-month Western Pacific deployment.

From early January 1985 to mid April, Carl Vinson was deployed in the Indian Ocean for 107 consecutive days at sea operations. The carrier received its first Meritorious Unit Commendations for operations conducted from November 1984 to May 1985.

In May and June 1986, the ship was involved in a series of high-tempo operations that included RIMPAC '86 exercise. On Aug. 12, Carl Vinson deployed on its second Western Pacific/Indian Ocean cruise and it's third deployment in all. During transit west, Carl Vinson became the first aircraft to operate in the Bering Sea.

After conducting extensive operations in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea, Carl Vinson transited the Bering Sea once again in January 1987.

Carl Vinson departed NAS Alameda for its fourth deployment on June 15, 1988, and making another challenging and successful transit of the Bering Sea. The carrier completed 82 days on station in the North Arabian Sea. While on station, the Gold Eagle supported the escorting of American flagged tankers in the Arabian Gulf. Carl Vinson returned to NAS Alameda on Dec.16. The carrier received its second Admiral Flatley Memorial Award for aviation safety.

The carrier departed Alameda on 18 September 1989 to participate in PACEX '89, the largest peacetime naval exercise since World War II. Carl Vinson conducted operations in the icy waters of the Bering Sea, including operations inside the Aleutian Islands. In the following weeks, Carl Vinson, leading a battle force of three carrier battle groups, conducted operations in the Western Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan, and were joined by the navies of other nations.

The ship departed on its fifth deployment on 01 February 1990 for the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. After returning to Alameda on July 3, the carrier steamed to Bremerton, Wash. in September to commence a complex overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard starting on Sept. 22, which would conclude on April 6, 1993.

The carrier started its sixth deployment on 17 February 1994 to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. The Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet Change of Command was held on the carrier on Aug. 5 while at Pearl Harbor. Carl Vinson returned to Alameda on Aug. 17; and received its third Admiral Flatley Award for aviation safety.

From 26 August to 03 September 1995 Carl Vinson participated in Exercise Ke Koa and the commemoration of the end of World War II in the Pacific. During the commemoration, President Bill Clinton visited the ship in Hawaii and 12 historic warplanes from World War II were launched from the flight deck. One month later, the ship returned to the San Francisco Bay area and participated in Fleet Week, '95, launching World War II aircraft, an F/A-18 Hornet and F-14 Tomcat, and an unprecedented launch and recovery of an S-3 Viking in San Francisco Bay. The carrier received its second Meritorious Unit Commendation for the 50th Commemoration of VJ Day 1995.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrived at its new homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, on July 31, 2005 following the completion a seven-month trip around the world.

Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH)

After careful assessments of USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) operational readiness, including the remaining useful life of the nuclear fuel, the Navy is recommending to Department of Defense officials that the ship's refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) commence in the fall of 2005, one year later than originally planned. The recommendation to reschedule Vinson's RCOH was driven by many factors, including a sound technical and business case analysis that considered the ship's overall material condition, current operational capability and operational needs.

Under the new fleet response plan, planners and operators are challenging all assumptions. Re-evaluating maintenance schedules can provide the Navy with a more flexible and efficient way to maintain, make ready and make available fleet assets. This decision will also allow Carl Vinson to remain available for operations until the fall of 2005 and enhances the Navy's flexible defense posture to provide the president with more options to carry out the global war against terrorism.

The Navy and NGNN continue to plan for Vinson's RCOH and will continue the fourth year of advance planning and procurement in fiscal year 2004. The Navy and NGNN are working closely to ensure that anticipated construction and maintenance work are completed on schedule and within manpower resources. In reaching this recommendation, the Navy consulted with NGNN throughout this process. Over the out years, this action will serve to enhance the loading and balance of work at NGNN. This recommendation was the first of many future actions to meet the fleet's new operational and readiness requirements, while balancing the workload across the public-private industrial base with sound business analysis.

USS Carl Vinson began its RCOH in November of 2005. May of 2006 marked six months since the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) moved from pier 14 of Naval Station Norfolk to dry dock 11 of Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) shipyard to begin its refueling complex overhaul (RCOH). The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through approximately halfway through their 50-year life cycle. During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel is being replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure are being upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in service and prepare her for another 25 years or more of service. With nearly one-third of the dry docking portion of the RCOH complete, the "Gold Eagle," in partnership with NGNN, is well on her way to adding that 25 years or more of service to Carl Vinson.


The seal of USS Carl Vinson shows an eagle, wings spread and talons extended, carrying a banner in its beak. The eagle is emblematic of the nation and the ship's motto, and also represents the power that resides in the ship's aircraft. The eagle flies in the form of a stylized letter "V," the initial of the ship's namesake, Congressman Carl Vinson. The "V" also represents the ships hull when viewed bow-on. Inscribed on the banner the eagle carries is the Latin Phrase "Vis Per Mare" which means "Strength from the Sea."

Carl Vinson

Carl Vinson's service in the House of Representatives exceeds that of anyone elected to the Congress of the United States since it first convened in 1798. During his unparalleled tenure of fifty plus years, he also completed a record breaking twenty-nine years as Chairman of the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee. In that position, Congressman Vinson forged and moved through Congress the landmark Vinson-Trammel Act which provided authority for the eventual construction of ninety-two major warships, the birth of the two ocean Navy. From Capitol Hill, he also guided the establishment of a separate air academy and the launching of the Navy's first nuclear powered submarine.

Stating that, "The most expensive thing in the world is a cheap Army and Navy," Congressman Vinson became a powerful force in the growth of America's land, sea and air forces. His skilled legislative abilities assisted in the creation of the Army Air Corps, the improvement of aviator and aircraft procurement, and the pre-World War II expansion of the Navy's air arm.

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Page last modified: 25-02-2018 16:53:52 ZULU