14 August 2009
Jonizel Sioson and Archie Juyasan are just two of many Filipinos among the crew of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington who expressed excitement over revisiting their homeland the Philippines aboard the mighty floating fighting platform named after the first American president. The supercarrier is docked at the Manila Harbor and is here on a four-day goodwill visit.
According to Wikipedia, USS George Washington (CVN 73) is the sixth ship in the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered supercarriers, and the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, first President of the United States. She was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and was commissioned July 4, 1992. The ship cost over $4.5 billion in 2007 dollars to manufacture.
The same Wikipedia article lists down some of the statistics about the USS George Washington:
George Washington (commonly known as GW) is 1,092 ft (333 m) long, 257 ft (78 m) wide and is as high as a twenty-four-story building, at 244 feet (74 m).
The super carrier can accommodate approximately 80 aircraft and has a flight deck 4.5 acres (18,000 m²) in size, using four elevators that are 3,880 ft² (360 m²) each to move planes between the flight deck and the hangar bay.
With a combat load, GW displaces almost 97,000 tons and can accommodate 6,250 crewmembers. Her four distilling units can make 400,000 U.S. gallons (1,500 m³) of potable water a day; her food service divisions serve 18,000 meals per day.
There are over 2,500 compartments on board requiring 2,520 tons (2.1 MW) of air conditioning capacity (enough to cool over 2,000 homes).
The warship uses two Mark II stockless anchors that weigh 30 tons each, with each link of the anchor chain weighing 360 pounds (160 kg).
She is currently equipped with 3 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts and 2 Sea Sparrow SAM launchers. 1 CIWS and 1 Sea Sparrow mount were removed to make way for 2 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launchers, installed during the 2005 Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).
The ship is powered by two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors (the ship is capable of steaming more than three million miles before refueling) turning 4 five-bladed screws that weigh 66,220 pounds (30 t) each driving the ship at speeds over 30 knots (56 km/h).
This is a picture of the GW as it arrives for fleet activities in Yokosuka, Japan. Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier form the phrase "Hajimemashite," which means "Nice to meet you."
To prevent a repetition of previous unwanted incidents involving US Navy servicemen in the country, the most publicized being the rape charge against Lance Corporal Daniel Smith who was convicted by a Philippine court of the rape of Nicole (the conviction was latter reversed by the Court of Appeals), the sailors aboard the USS George Washington are on tight orders to strictly observe their curfew and to conduct themselves properly at all times while in the Philippines.
More on this story in this report by Marisol Abdurahman courtesy of GMANews.tv. Marisol informs us that the USS George Washington is the first American aircraft carrier to visit the country in 13 years: