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USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77): Wikis


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USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).jpg
Name: USS George H.W. Bush
Namesake: George H. W. Bush
Ordered: 26 January 2001
Awarded: 26 January 2001
Builder: Northrop Grumman Newport News[1]
Cost: $6.2 billion[2]
Laid down: 6 September 2003[1]
Sponsored by: Dorothy Bush Koch[1]
Christened: 9 October 2006[1]
Launched: 9 October 2006
Commissioned: 10 January 2009[3]
Homeport: Norfolk, Virginia
Motto: Freedom at Work
Nickname: Avenger
Status: in active service, as of 2010[3]
Badge: CVN-77 insignia.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
Displacement: Approximately 101,000 long tons (103,000 t) full load
Length: Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
Beam: Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
Draft: Maximum navigational: 37 ft (11.3 m)
Limit: 41 ft (12.5 m)
Propulsion: 2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
4 × steam turbines
4 × shafts
260,000 shp (194 MW)
Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
Range: Essentially unlimited distance; 20 years
Complement: Ship's company: 3,200
Air wing: 2,480
Sensors and
processing systems:
SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
SPS-49A(V)1 2-D air search radar
SPQ-9B fire control radar
2 × SPN-46 air traffic control radars
SPN-43C air traffic control radar
SPN-41 instrument landing system radar
3 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
3 × Mk 95 radars
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
Armament: 2 × Mk 29 ESSM launcher
2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile
3 x Phalanx CIWS
Armor: Classified
Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is the tenth and final Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy.[1] She is named for the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, who was a naval aviator during World War II. Bush's callsign is Avenger, after the TBM Avenger aircraft flown by then-Lieutenant George Bush in WWII. Construction began in 2001 by the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, at a cost of $6.2 billion[2] and was completed in 2009. She is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.


Ship's seal

CVN-77 insignia.png

Each element of the seal is significant for its relevance to the ship’s namesake, naval aviation, naval service, and the nation. There are six prominent features of the seal, beginning with the 41 white stars, symbolizing the ship’s namesake (the 41st President). The rays of light that appear on the seal’s horizon represent Bush’s concept of a "thousand points of light", wherein he urged Americans to find meaning and reward by serving a purpose higher than themselves, The graphic depiction of the aircraft carrier reflects the carrier as both a symbol and instrument of American strength as “a force for good.” Above the carrier are overhead profiles of a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber (representing Bush’s days as a Navy pilot), an FA-18 Hornet strike fighter, and an F-35 Lightning II.[4]

Fouled anchors and shields, centered on naval aviators wings, honor the ship’s namesake’s aviation history. Finally, the motto “Freedom at Work” is adapted from Bush’s inaugural speech, during which he said, “We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right.”[4]


Section ref: Global[5]

Bush stretches 1,092 feet and displaces over 100,000 tons, making her one of the world’s largest warships (though she is slightly shorter than USS Enterprise). Her top speed exceeds 30 knots and powered with two nuclear reactors, she can operate for more than 20 years without refueling.

Several features differentiate CVN-77 from other ships in the Nimitz class.[6]



New hull design features[7] include a new propeller design, a new bulbous bow design that provides more buoyancy to the forward end of the ship and improves hull efficiency, curved flight deck edges to reduce radar signature, a new underwater hull-coating system, deck covering modernized to reduce ship weight by 100 tons, low Solar Absorptive and Anti-Stain Paint, and a redesigned hangar bay that has less clutter.


Placing the 700-ton island onto the ship’s flight deck in 2006

Bush is the second carrier to have a modernized island, which includes a new radar tower (enclosed to reduce radar signature), navigation system upgrades, communication systems enhancements, and transparent armor windows. The island is smaller and has been repositioned further aft to improve flight deck access and reduce signature and electronic self-interference.

Air operations

New air operations design features include an updated aviation-fuel storage and distribution system, semi-automated refueling and servicing with new deck locations to provide faster, more efficient aircraft pit stops, requiring fewer people, modernized aircraft launch and recovery equipment, and redesigned jet blast deflectors.


Environmental upgrades have also been designed into the ship, including a Vacuum Collection / Marine Sanitation Device (VC/MSD), a new marine sewage system that uses fresh water in lieu of sea water for lower maintenance costs. Most ships in the U.S. Navy utilize a Collection Holding and Transfer (CHT) system to handle sewage waste. Several ships add a vacuum collection capacity or VCHT. Septic systems, when used aboard ships, are referred to as Marine Sanitation Devices, often used in U.S. Coast Guard ships. Bush is the first and only aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy to combine the two technologies.

Electronics and communications

New electronics and communications technology, space rearrangement, operational procedure changes, advanced sensor technologies and maintenance systems have been incorporated to reduce manning costs. A new zonal electrical distribution system will keep problems from affecting other parts of the ship. Automated material movement devices, semi-autonomous, gravity compensated weapons handling devices, damage control automation systems and components have also been installed. Medical and dental equipment have been upgraded, integrated display screens in Damage Control Central have been modernized to improve data integration and display, and equipment in general shops has been modernized to improve productivity.


LTJG George Bush in a TBM Avenger in WWII

At age 18, George H. W. Bush became the Navy's youngest pilot when he received his Naval Aviator wings and naval commission. He flew torpedo bombers off USS San Jacinto on active duty from August 1942 to September 1945 during World War II. On 2 September 1944, during a mission over the Pacific, Japanese anti-aircraft fire hit his plane. The Navy submarine, USS Finback, rescued him. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for courageous service in the Pacific Theater. USS George H.W. Bush is the second United States aircraft carrier to be named after a naval aviator (Forrestal was the first) and the second, following Ronald Reagan, to be named after a living former president (Reagan was christened in 2001 while President Reagan was still living). However, the first naval vessel to be named for a living former president was the USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), a submarine.

Ship's history

Pentagon naming ceremony in 2001

The contract to build CVN-77 was awarded to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News on 26 January 2001. A naming ceremony was held on 9 December 2002 at the Pentagon, with Former President George H.W. Bush attending.[citation needed] The Honorable Gordon England, Secretary of the Navy, presided at a ceremony.


The Keel Laying ceremony was on 6 September 2003, with Former President George H.W. Bush serving as the keynote speaker. Former First Lady Barbara Bush also attended with their daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch, the ship's sponsor. The former President authenticated the keel by chalking his initials onto a metal plate. His initials were then welded onto the plate, which was permanently affixed to the ship.

USS George H. W. Bush shortly after being released from dry dock for the first time

The ship was modularly constructed, where large sections are assembled and then lifted into place using a large crane. Major milestones in the construction include the bow placement in March 2005, followed by the island placement on 8 July 2006. The 700-ton island was lifted onto the flight deck in a ceremony called “stepping the mast,” which dates from antiquity and consists of placing coins or other items of significance under the step or bottom of a ship’s mast during construction.

Since at least the construction of USS Constitution in the 1790s, this tradition has been passed on as a symbol of good luck for U.S. Navy ships. George H.W. Bush participated in the event, placing his naval aviator wings underneath the island during the ceremony.

George H. W. Bush was christened on 7 October 2006.[1] Former President George H.W. Bush attended the ceremony and became the first president in history to participate in the christening of his namesake ship. President George W. Bush also attended and honored his father during the ceremony as a special guest speaker. Other officials participating in the ceremony included Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter; Virginia Senators John Warner and George Allen, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Mullen.

Other construction milestones included catapult system testing on the ship's flight deck on 25 January 2008. Former President George H.W. Bush signaled the launch of two "dead loads" off the deck of the carrier. Dead loads are large, wheeled, steel vessels weighing up to 80,000 pounds, simulating the weight of actual aircraft.[8][9]

On 11 August 2008, the Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) crew moved aboard the ship, the first meals served in the galley, the U.S. flag was raised on the fantail for the first time, and the first watches were set.[10]

Bush left Northrop Grumman Ship Building for the first time on 23 December 2008, proceeding a few miles down river to Norfolk Naval Station.


Guests and U.S. Navy personnel at the commissioning ceremony , Jan 10 2009
George H. W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush depart the ship following the commissioning ceremony

USS George H.W. Bush was commissioned 10 January 2009 at Norfolk Naval Station[11] prior to her official delivery to the Navy. 15,000 people attended, including veterans of the USS San Jacinto, the ship George Bush served on during WWII. President George W. Bush delivered the principal address, George H.W. Bush set the first watch, and ship's sponsor Dorothy "Doro" Bush Koch gave the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!" A Grumman TBM Avenger like the one then-Lieutenant junior grade George Bush flew in WWII performed a fly-over. Northrop Grumman Corporation Builder's sea trials were completed on 16 February 2009, providing an opportunity to test systems, components and compartments at sea for the first time. The trials included high-speed runs and a demonstration of the carrier's other capabilities.[12] Following builder's trials, the ship underwent acceptance trials on 10 April 2009,[13] conducted by representatives of the U.S. Navy Board of Inspection and Survey, to test and evaluate the ship's systems and performance.

Delivery and shakedown

Bush was officially delivered to the Navy on 11 May 2009.[14]

The first fixed-wing flights were conducted on 19 May 2009 when F/A-18 Super Hornets from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland began flight deck certification, which tests a carriers ability to conduct Modern US Navy carrier air operations.[15][16] On 26 May 2009, Former President George H.W. Bush and his daughter, Doro Bush Koch, flew aboard the carrier to observe flight operations during the ship's underway period in the Atlantic Ocean. USS George H.W. Bush successfully completed her first flight deck certification on that day.[17] Bush returned to Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard on 18 June 2009 for post-delivery maintenance work, also known as the ship's post shakedown availability (PSA). A PSA is a typical availability in the early life of a carrier that allows the Navy and builder to resolve any items that came up during trials and delivery and make any last-minute changes and upgrades. Work includes the installation of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) handling system and a new fresh water purification system. Other changes include compartment reconfigurations, combat system and radar equipment upgrades, and minor repairs. The work is scheduled to last through early 2010.[18]

Commanding Officers

  • CAPT Kevin E. O'Flaherty, 2006–2009[19]
  • CAPT DeWolfe H. Miller III, 2009–


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Future USS George H.W. Bush to Transit". Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Ready or not, Navy to get carrier"
  3. ^ a b "Aircraft Carrier Named the USS George H.W. Bush Commissioned". Fox News. 2009-01-10.,2933,479087,00.html. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Global Security: Features of CVN 77 Concept Design
  6. ^ "Design Enhancements". Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  7. ^ Northrop Grumman Press Release, May 11, 2009
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Jones, Matthew (2009-01-10). "Carrier awaits a call to come to life in ceremony today". The Virginian Pilot (Landmark Communications). Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Navy's Newest Carrier Successfully Completes Acceptance Sea Trials". United States Navy. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  14. ^ Navy Takes Delivery of Aircraft Carrier George H.W. Bush
  15. ^ US Navy: First Flight on CVN-77
  16. ^ May 19, 2009 News
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links


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