Snow aboard an aircraft carrier is a pretty rare sight, however the winter storm that swept through the United States has treated the crew of the U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) with a taste of home.
About three inches of snow (7 centimeters) dawned on the aircraft carrier’s flight deck while underway on training 115 miles northeast of Norfolk, forcing the crew to take to the shovels.
“I have been on active duty for over 31 years and have never seen snow underway before,” said Cmdr. Steven W. Leehe, TR’s maintenance officer. “Years ago, I saw some pictures of aircraft landing on a flight deck in a snow storm, but I’ve never seen it myself.”
“I have been on active or Reserve duty for 22 years, and this is my fourth carrier. I have never seen snow on the flight deck underway like this. It’s crazy,” said maintenance material control officer aboard TR, Lt. Cmdr. Kevin D. Bittle.
Even though surprising, the snow and inclement weather gave a further push to the crew to notch up their efforts in preparing their ship for upcoming deployment.
Earlier this month, the Navy announced that USS Theodore Roosevelt, based in Norfolk, will be relocated to San Diego, so as to enable the USS Ronald Reagan to move to Yokosuka, Japan and step in for the USS George Washington, which is gearing up for its overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding.
|NIMITZ-CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER SPECIFICATIONS|
|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)
|Displacement||104,600 long tons|
|Speed||30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)|
|Complement||Ship’s company: 3,200
Air wing: 2,480
|Range||Unlimited distance; 20-25 years|
Naval Today Staff, January 31, 2014; Image: US Navy