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The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier presently in US Navy service. The ship, which was commissioned in 1977, is the second of ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. The ship was originally known as the USS Eisenhower, after the class’s flagship ship, the Nimitz, but on May 25, 1970, the name was altered to its current form. The carrier, like all others in her class, was built in Virginia by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company and is based on the same design as the lead ship, but it has been rebuilt twice to bring her up to the standards of those built more recently.
The building contract was granted to then-Northrop Grumman Newport News of Newport News, Virginia, on June 29, 1970. Her designation was changed from CVAN-69 to CVN-69 on June 30, 1975. She was set down as hull number 599 on 15 August 1970 at the Newport News shipyard for $679 million, launched 11 October 1975 after being christened by Dwight Eisenhower’s widow Mamie Doud Eisenhower, and commissioned 18 October 1977 with Captain William E. Ramsey in charge. She took the place of the elderly World War II-era carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt in the fleet when she was commissioned.
After undergoing nearly a year of training, President Jimmy Carter, his wife Rosalynn Carter, Defense Secretary Harold Brown, and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzeziski paid a visit to Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was assigned to the United States Atlantic Fleet. She embarked for her maiden deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in January 1979. During this deployment, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin paid a visit to Dwight D. Eisenhower off the coast of Israel. In July of that year, the carrier returned to Norfolk Naval Station.
From 5 January to 13 July 1982, the Dwight D. Eisenhower returned to the Mediterranean Sea for her third deployment, under the leadership of her third Captain E. W. Clexton Jr. On the 2nd of April, Mamie, her onboard logistics plane, crashed in Souda Bay, Crete, killing 11 passengers and crew members. She also took part in the evacuation of US Embassy personnel from Beirut, Lebanon, on June 24th, as the country fell into civil conflict.
Ike was sent to Normandy, France, and Portsmouth, England in May and June 1984 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of D-Day. Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to the port in England during the tour. In October 1985, Dwight D. Eisenhower returned to Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock for a substantial refurbishment after her sixth deployment. The Close-in Weapons System (CIWS), NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System, Naval Tactical Data System, anti-submarine warfare module, communications improvements, and rehabilitation of 1,831 berths in 25 compartments were all added during the 18-month yard time. In April 1987, she rejoined the fleet.
Ike began her sixth deployment to the Mediterranean on February 29, 1988. She collided with a moored Spanish bulkcarrier, the Urduliz, when approaching the port to berth at Norfolk Naval Station on August 29, 1988, when wind and currents knocked the carrier off course, though both ships sustained minor damage. In September 1988, the Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and she returned to the service in April 1989.
Dwight D. Eisenhower finished her eighth Mediterranean deployment in 1990. The deployment was commemorated as part of the international “Dwight D. Eisenhower Centennial,” which commemorated the late president’s birth 100 years ago. President Eisenhower’s son John Eisenhower and D-Day veterans boarded the ship during D-Day anniversary festivities off the coast of Normandy, as Carrier Air Wing Seven flew a tribute flyover over the American cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.
Dwight D. Eisenhower and members of the US 10th Mountain Division first tested the idea of adaptive force packaging in September 1994. Soldiers and equipment from the division were carried onto the ship, and the ship’s Army/Navy crew set sail for Port-au-Prince to spearhead Operation Uphold Democracy, the US-led campaign to restore Haiti’s democratic government.
Dwight D. Eisenhower left for a six-month deployment in October 1994, which included flying sorties in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Deny Flight. This was the first time women have served as crew members on a combatant in the United States Navy. More than 400 women were on the staff of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3) and the Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8.
Eight members of her deck crew were injured on March 18, 2016, while cruising off the coast of Virginia, when the arresting gear cables failed and “broke apart” during a normal landing of an E-2 Hawkeye aircraft. Six of the wounded deck crew members were evacuated to neighbouring shore-based facilities by helicopter, while the other two stayed on board and were treated. There were no life-threatening injuries among the eight. The Hawkeye resumed flight immediately and landed safely at Chambers Field, Norfolk Naval Station, with no casualties to the crew or aircraft damage.
In December 2016, the ship returned after her 17th deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Dwight D. Eisenhower left Norfolk for her Composite Training Unit Exercise on January 13, 2020, in preparation for deployment. Due to Dynamic Force Employment (DFE), a plan to help make naval deployments less predictable, Dwight D. Eisenhower went to the Persian Gulf without returning to port after practising with Carrier Strike Group 10 until late February.
By achieving its 161st day at sea without a port stop on June 26, 2020, the ship has beaten the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s record of 160 days at sea without a port visit. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ship’s operational determination to “stay clean” by avoiding any interaction with ports that may potentially introduce the novel coronavirus into the crew are to blame for the new mark. The Hellenic Air Force (HAF) and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower co-trained southeast of Crete on July 25 and 26, 2020.
Exercise Lightning Handshake was held on March 3, 2021, by Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Strike Group with the Royal Moroccan Navy ship Tarik Ben Zayid and Royal Moroccan Air Force fighter planes. The Italian frigate Luigi Rizzo sailed alongside her in the Gibraltar Strait on March 5. Dwight D. Eisenhower crossed the Suez Canal into the Red Sea on April 2, 2021, with Carrier Air Wing 3 and her Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
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USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER CVN 69UNIT 100236 BOX 1 FPO AE 09532
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USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER CVN 69UNIT 100236 BOX 1 FPO AE 09532
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