USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Celebrates 37th Birthday

SAN DIEGO (NNS) — The crew of the air­craft car­ri­er USS Nimitz (CVN 68) paused to cel­e­brate the 37th anniver­sary of the ship’s com­mis­sion­ing with an all hands pic­nic, May 3.

The Nimitz-class air­craft car­ri­er USS Nimitz (CVN 68) arrives at its new home­port at Naval Sta­tion Everett after the com­ple­tion of a docked planned incre­men­tal avail­abil­i­ty main­te­nance peri­od at Bre­mer­ton, Wash. Nimitz is replac­ing USS Abra­ham Lin­coln (CVN 72), which had been home­port­ed at Naval Sta­tion Everett since Jan­u­ary 1997. (U.S. Navy pho­to by Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Spe­cial­ist 1st Class Joan E. Jennings/Released)
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The ship’s Morale Wel­fare and Recre­ation and Sup­ply depart­ment host­ed the event, with vol­un­teer assis­tance from Nimitz’ chief pet­ty offi­cers and first class pet­ty offi­cers, and mem­bers of the Nimitz Junior Enlist­ed Association. 

Nimitz Com­mand­ing Offi­cer Capt. Jef­frey Ruth called on the crew to reflect on the his­tor­i­cal role Nimitz has played in the ship’s near­ly four decades of service. 

“In 1975 a new class of air­craft car­ri­er entered the fleet,” he said. “Thir­ty-sev­en years lat­er this ship and her entire crew proud­ly con­tin­ue to uphold the tra­di­tions of team­work and pro­fes­sion­al­ism that make this ship the first and finest in its class.” 

Since its com­mis­sion­ing, the ship com­plet­ed 14 deploy­ments. Nimitz most recent­ly depart­ed its home­port of Everett, Wash., and arrived to Naval Sta­tion North Island, San Diego, to embark ele­ments of Car­ri­er Air Wing 11 as the ship pre­pares to com­plete var­i­ous cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and qual­i­fi­ca­tions fol­low­ing its Docked Planned Incre­men­tal Availability. 

The keel for the Nimitz (CVAN 68) was laid June 22, 1968, at New­port News Ship­build­ing and Dry Dock Com­pa­ny in New­port News, Va. 

The Pre-Com­mis­sion­ing Unit (PCU) Nimitz was chris­tened and launched from Ship­way 11, New­port News, May 13, 1972. On March 1, 1975 PCU Nimitz got under­way for the first time to con­duct Builder’s sea trials. 

The ship was deliv­ered to the U.S. Navy on April 11 and arrived at its home­port of Nor­folk, Va. April 12. On May 3, Nimitz was com­mis­sioned in a cer­e­mo­ny at Naval Sta­tion Norfolk’s Pier 12 by Pres­i­dent Ger­ald R. Ford. Sec­re­tary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, Sec­re­tary of the Navy J. William Mid­den­dorf and Chief of Naval Oper­a­tions Adm. James L. Hol­loway, III, were among the more than 20,000 guests in attendance. 

U.S. Navy 

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