USS JOHN C. STENNIS Completes Maiden Deployment

by JO2 Marcus T. Myers
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
Public Affairs - August 26, 1998

ABOARD JOHN C. STENNIS On August 26, 1998, USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) arrived in San Diego, completing its inaugural overseas deployment.

After leaving Naval Station Norfolk February 26, the 97,000-ton carrier quickly arrived on station in the Arabian Gulf, setting a record for the 9,000 plus-mile transit. Steaming at more than 30 knots, it took only a few days to cross 3,442 miles from the Chesapeake light tower to the Straight of Gibraltar and continue through the Mediterranean.

Fourteen days after the ship left Norfolk, JOHN C. STENNIS was ready on arrival on station in the Gulf and relieved the USS George Washington (CVN 73). JCS and CVW-7 remained on station in the Middle East region for a record setting 132 days.

Once on station in the Middle East, JCS and Air Wing SEVEN posted a great record of mission performance including over 1,700 sorties flown over Iraq in patrol of the "no fly" zone. The aircraft squadrons flew a total of 8,400 sorties and completed 10,000 traps during the deployment without a single mishap.

JCS and its crew of more than 5,200 Sailors, participated in six naval exercises and more than 700 shipboard drills. Training ranged from general quarters and flight deck drills to various propulsion plant drills.

The ship made three port visits to Jebel Ali and two visits to Bahrain. While inport Bahrain, JCS was the first aircraft carrier to assume the duties of Sea Combat Commander and did so with less than 24 hours notice.

During its watch in the Gulf, the carrier remained at sea for as much as 46 days at one time. Out of the 180 days the carrier spent deployed, 145 were spent at sea.

After leaving the Gulf, JCS spent several days in port in Australia. Soon after, JCS was underway to rendezvous with the USNS Niagara Falls to off load ammunition. The successful two-day event transferred over 2,000 tons of weapons and material from JCS.

JOHN C. STENNIS now docks in San Diego and will remain there for scheduled maintenance until April 1999, when it begins preparations for a Western Pacific deployment in January 2000.