USS John C Stennis CVN 74 - History

USS John C Stennis CVN 74 - History

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USS John C Stennis CVN 74

Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts. Length: 1, 092 feet (332.85 meters). Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters) ; Flight Deck Width: 252 feet (76.8 meters). Displacement: Approximately 97, 000 tons (87, 996.9 metric tons) full load. Speed: 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour). Crew: Ship's Company: 3, 200 - Air Wing: 2, 480. Armament: Two or three (depending on modification) NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts: (3 on Nimitz and Dwight D. Eisenhower and 4 on Vinson and later ships of the class.). Aircraft: 85.

The nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was contracted on 29 March 1988, and the keel was laid on 13 March 1991 at Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va

The ship was christened on 11 November 1993, in honor of Senator John Cornelius Stennis (D-Mississippi) of who served in the Senate from 1947 to 1989. The daughter of the ship’s namesake, Mrs. Margaret Stennis-Womble was the ship’s sponsor. Stennis was commissioned on 9 December 1995 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va, and she conducted flight deck certification in January 1996. The first arrested landing was by a VX-23 F-14B. The ship conducted numerous Carrier Qualifications and Independent Steaming Exercises off the East Coast throughout the next two years. Included among these events was the first carrier landing of an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet on 18 January 1997.

USS John C. Stennis and the smaller British Invincible-class HMS Illustrious on a joint patrol, April 1998. On 26 February 1998 with Carrier Air Wing Seven embarked, Stennis left Norfolk for her maiden deployment, transiting the Suez Canal on 7 March and arriving in the Persian Gulf on 11 March 1998. The ship travelled 8020 nm in 274 hours, an average speed of 29.4 knots (54.4 km/h) to relieve USS George Washington (CVN-73) in conducting Operation Southern Watch missions. Stennis departed the Persian Gulf on 19 July 1998 for her new home port of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, arriving on 26 August 1998. In October 1998, Stennis entered a 6-month Phased Incremental Availability for maintenance and upgrades at North Island, returning to sea in April 1999. During the maintenance period, a jet blast deflector collapsed, severely injuring two sailors. On 30 November 1999, Stennis ran aground in a shallow area adjacent to the turning basin near North Island. Silt clogged the intake pipes to the steam condensing systems for the nuclear reactor plants, causing the carrier’s two nuclear reactors to be shut down (one reactor by crew, the other automatically) for a period of 45 minutes. Stennis was towed back to her pier for maintenance and observation for the next two days. The cleanup cost was about $2 million.

On 7 January 2000, Stennis deployed to the Persian Gulf to relieve USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in Operation Southern Watch. During the deployment, the ship made port visits to South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, before returning to San Diego on 3 July 2000. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, Stennis conducted Noble Eagle missions off the U. S. West Coast.

On 12 November 2001, two months earlier than scheduled, the ship left on her third deployment to the U. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, returning to San Diego on 28 May 2002. From June 2002 to January 2003, JCS underwent a seven-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).

From 24 May to 1 November 2004, Stennis conducted her fourth major overseas deployment, participating in Exercise Northern Edge 2004 in the Gulf of Alaska, Rim of the Pacific (RimPac) Exercise off Hawaii, exercises with Kitty Hawk off Japan and goodwill visits to Japan, Malaysia and Western Australia. Shortly after returning from deployment to San Diego, JCS changed her home port to Naval Station Bremerton, Washington on19 January 2005. Once at Bremerton, Stennis underwent an 11 month Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA), the first time she had been dry-docked since commissioning. Upgrades included a new mast.

USS John C. Stennis arrives in Bremerton on 31 August 2007. On 20 January 2007, Stennis set sail for the Persian Gulf as part of an increase in US military presence within the Middle East. Stennis arrived in the area on 19 February 2007, joining USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the United States Fifth Fleet area of operations This marked the first time since 2003 that there were two aircraft carrier battle groups in the region simultaneously. On 23 May 2007 Stennis, along with eight other warships including the aircraft carrier Nimitz and amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, passed through the Strait of Hormuz. US Navy officials said it was the largest such move since 2003. [3] On 31 August 2007 Stennis returned to Bremerton.

Stennis departed Bremerton for a 6-month deployment to the Western Pacific on 13 January 2009. On 24 April, the ship arrived in Singapore. That same day, one of the ship's sailors was crushed and killed while working from a small harbor boat to secure a drain that discharges oily water from Stennis’ aircraft catapults. [4] On 29 April, the ship's executive officer, Commander David L. Burnham, was relieved by Rear Admiral Mark A. Vance over unspecified personal conduct. Burnham was reassigned to a base in San Diego, pending an investigation. After participating in operations in the Persian Gulf, exercises with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Republic of Korea, as well as joint exercise Northern Edge 2009, USS Stennis returned from deployment in early July 2009. Carrier Air Wing 9 debarked on 6 July at NAS North Island, prior to the ship's arrival at her homeport of Bremerton, Wash., on 10 July.

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)

The USS John C. Stennis is the fifth in the line of 10 Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. The Stennis provides a powerful air arm and limitless range making it a prime operator in US military global operations and can be called upon to accomplish a variety of military and political tasks as needed - either in the offensive, defense or deterrent role. As of this writing, the USS John C. Stennis is in active service with the United States Navy.

Layout and arrangement of the John C. Stennis follows basic Nimitz-class design. The island superstructure sits starboard while an angled starboard-to-port flight deck dominates the port side. A straight flight deck is featured up to the bow and four steam-powered catapults power aircraft into the air from the two forward straight decks and two from the angled deck. Four hangar elevators service the flight deck. Self-defense is provided by 2 x Mk 57 Mod3 Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile launchers, 2 x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile missile launchers (RAM) and close anti-aircraft / anti-missile support provided by the three Mk 15 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System(s) (CIWS). Her offensive arm is dominated by the various 90 or so aircraft types that she can put into the sky including fighter-bombers, anti-submarine and anti-ship elements to go along with interceptor and transport capabilities.

The John C. Stennis is a nuclear-powered vessel which, in essence, means that the vessel has unlimited range or range limited only by her reactor cores. She is powered by twin Westinghouse-brand A4W series reactors and 4 x steam powered turbines. These turn four large shafts at a rate of 260,000 shaft horsepower. A top speed of over 30 knots can be attained in ideal conditions. Her living quarters can support over 5,600 personnel including a large portion made up of the air wing. In all respects, the Stennis and her sister Nimitz-class ships are comparable to a small floating city.

The Stennis received her first deployment orders in 1998 which saw her land in the Persian Gulf, enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq. In 1999, USS John C. Stennis took to her sea trials and was back serving in the Persian Gulf by 2000, once again enforcing the no-fly zone in Iraq. Her next call to action was in serving against forces in Afghanistan a month following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. She concluded her operations there the following year and returned to the US. 2004 through 2005 saw various port stops, training exercises and goodwill visits. In 2007, the Stennis was back in service in the Persian Gulf returning to home port in August of that year.

The USS John C. Stennis was laid down in 1991 by Newport News Shipbuilding Company and launched in 1993. She was officially commissioned in 1995 and makes her homeport in Bremerton, Washington. The vessel and her crew fight under the motto of "Look Ahead" and the ship has taken on the affectionate nickname of "Johnny Reb". The Stennis is named after US Senator John C. Stennis (d.1995) whose work in the Senate covered some 40 plus years of service.


John Stennis was born into a middle-class family in Kemper County, Mississippi as the son of Hampton Howell Stennis and Margaret Cornelia Adams. His great-grandfather, John Stenhouse, emigrated from Scotland to Greenville, South Carolina, just before the American Revolution. [1]

He received a bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University in Starkville (then Mississippi A&M) in 1923. [2] In 1928, Stennis obtained a law degree from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and Alpha Chi Rho fraternity. [3] While in law school, he won a seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives, in which he served until 1932. Stennis was a prosecutor from 1932 to 1937 and a circuit judge from 1937 to 1947, both for Mississippi's Sixteenth Judicial District. He was the prosecuting attorney in a case where three African Americans had been beaten and tortured for a confession in Brown v. Mississippi, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a clear deception of court and jury by the presentation of testimony known to be perjured, and a clear denial of due process.

Stennis married Coy Hines, and together they had two children, John Hampton and Margaret Jane. His son, John Hampton Stennis (1935–2013), [4] an attorney in Jackson, Mississippi, ran unsuccessfully in 1978 for the United States House of Representatives, defeated by the Republican Jon C. Hinson, then the aide to U.S. Representative Thad Cochran.

Early career Edit

Upon the death of Senator Theodore Bilbo in 1947, Stennis won the special election to fill the vacancy, winning the seat from a field of five candidates (including two sitting Congressmen, John E. Rankin and William M. Colmer). He was elected to a full term in 1952, and was reelected five more times. From 1947 to 1978, he served alongside James Eastland thus Stennis spent 31 years as Mississippi's junior senator even though he had more seniority than most of his colleagues. He and Eastland were at the time the longest serving Senate duo in American history, later broken by the South Carolina duo of Strom Thurmond and Fritz Hollings. He later developed a good relationship with Eastland's successor, Republican Thad Cochran.

Leading up to the 1948 Democratic National Convention, Stennis supported the drafting of General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Democratic nominee amid wide-ranging suspicion that President Truman could not win re-election, considering Eisenhower an acceptable candidate to Southerners. [5] The declaration of support for civil rights at the Democratic National Convention had resulted in Southern members dissatisfied with the move and seeking to espouse their own ideology in the form of a rebellion, Stennis and Eastland being the only sitting Senators to openly back the movement. [6] Stennis, noted by biographer Maarten Zwiers as being less forward in his racism than Eastland, initially hesitated to take an outspoken position against civil rights, likely underestimating the contempt for the civil rights backing of the national party in Mississippi. He adopted harsher condemnation of the program after receiving criticism. [7]

In July 1948, the Senate voted on anti-poll tax legislation. Stennis said Congress did not have the constitutional authority to enact such a measure – it had been brought up for political expediency. [8]

On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted to "condemn" Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy on two counts by a vote of 67 to 22. [9] Two days later, Stennis advocated for the Senate to adopt rule changes proposed by the Special Censure Committee. [10]

In March 1955, Stennis supported legislation that would increase the national cotton acreage with an amendment providing increases in cotton planting and wheat acreage. [11]

Beginning in early 1956, along with Eastland, Allen Ellender, and Strom Thurmond, Stennis was one of several senators to meet in the office of Georgia Senator Richard Russell. Randall Bennett Woods describes the group as being "out for blood" and being pushed by extremists in their respective states to show Southerners would not be intimidated by the North. [12]

In January 1958, Senators received a report on the development of intermediate and intercontinental missiles from Bernard A. Schriever. During two interviews after its release, Stennis said attention should be placed on the speed of production and he was satisfied with the contents of the report pertaining to the development of PGM-17 Thor. [13]

In May 1958, responding to President Eisenhower's placing the Arkansas National Guard under federal control and sending in the 101st Airborne Division to escort and protect nine black students' entry to the all-white, public Little Rock Central High School, [14] Stennis announced he had challenged the legality of placing guardsmen there. He stated that the Eisenhower administration had violated both the U.S. Constitution and federal laws, also noting that he believed President Eisenhower was neither "reckless nor mischievous". [15]

During the 1960 presidential election campaign, Stennis advocated for Mississippi voters to back Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy rather than a slate of unpledged electors. [16] Mississippi was won in the general election by the unpledged electors. [17]

In July 1961, after Senate Republicans announced that they would cooperate with the Kennedy administration's enlarged defense bill, Stennis stated the possibility of the program requiring a boost in taxes but that he would not vote for an increase until the Senate had made every effort toward finding another way to make the payment. [18]

In early 1962, as the Justice Department retaliated against a Mississippi official charged with refusing to register black voters, Stennis led Southern senators in opposition to the Kennedy administration's literacy test bill during a debate on the measure. [19]

In September 1963, Stennis, Eastland, and Georgia Senator Richard Russell jointly announced their opposition to the ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty. [20] Stennis announced his opposition to the treaty on the Senate floor, arguing that its enactment would lead to military disadvantages. The opposition was viewed as denting hopes of the Kennedy administration to be met with minimal disagreement during the treaty's appearance before the Senate. [21]

In 1966, Stennis was initiated as an honorary member of the Delta Lambda chapter (Mississippi State) of Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity.

In June 1967, Stennis announced that the Senate Ethics Committee would give "early preliminary consideration" to misconduct charges against Senator Edward V. Long of Missouri. [22]

Stennis wrote the first Senate ethics code, and was the first chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee. In August 1965, Stennis protested the Johnson administration's emergency supplemental appropriation request for the Vietnam War. [23] In August 1967, Stennis advocated for an expansion of bombing North Vietnam to hasten what he believed would be the war's conclusion, adding that either restrictions or a pause could be a mistake. [24] In July 1969, Stennis proposed dividing South Vietnam into two zones and one would be used for the United States to attempt ending the war. [25] In December, Stennis supported the creation of a special commission by President Nixon with the intent of investigating alleged Vietnamese civilian slayings at the hands of American soldiers. [26]

In July 1968, Stennis served as floor manager of a bill intended to ease congestion that had throttled American airports in recent days by providing increased equipment and personnel, publicly saying the legislation had been put off for too long. [27]

In 1969, Stennis introduced the Nixon administration's proposal for a draft lottery that would subject all potential draftees to a one-year period where they could be called, Stennis saying that studies would be conducted to see about hearings on the matter in 1970, ahead of the then-current law expiring in 1971. An aide for the senator confirmed his support for the administration's policy. [28]

1970s Edit

In January 1970, Stennis stated his intent to call on presidential candidates in the upcoming presidential election to visit states outside of the South and tell parents, "I'll do to your schools what we've done to the schools in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana if I'm elected President" predicting any candidate who did so would be defeated. [29]

In February, Stennis was named as one of the members of Congress to sit on a subcommittee created to study whether the United States needed another nuclear‐powered aircraft carrier priced at $640 million. [30]

On February 12, White House Press Secretary Ronald L. Ziegler said President Nixon was in favor of the North and the South being treated equally on the issue of segregation, refusing to interpret his remarks as an endorsement of the Stennis amendment. [31] Several days later, on February 18, the Senate voted 56 to 36 in favor of the Stennis amendment [ clarification needed ] , Stennis afterward stating that the vote was "a landmark . a new gateway . a turning point." Stennis admitted he did not expect a difference in the temperament of the South, but that it could potentially lead to the North understanding the importance of the issue to southerners in having to maintain the same policy. [32] Around the same time, Stennis sponsored an amendment requiring "equal treatment of schools segregated by law (de jure) and those segregated as a result of residential patterns (de facto.)" It was rejected by the Senate on April 1. [33] In May, Stennis opined that the Supreme Court had dodged its duty by passing on the question of the legality or illegality of segregated schools outside of the South. Stennis said the question "must and should be decided as promptly as possible because a political decision is being made to continue the in integration efforts in the South but leave the other areas of the country virtually untouched." [34] In June, as the Senate passed a $4.8 billion education bill, it also defeated an amendment by Stennis to strike certain restrictions in an amendment by Senator Jacob K. Javits for aid to desegregating schools. [35]

In 1971, Stennis sponsored a measure to enforce school desegregation laws in areas where segregation had been caused by residential patterns and in communities where segregation had been sanctioned by law. Stennis said the measure would eliminate what he called a double standard where Southern schools were forced to integrate their communities or face a loss of federal aid while Northern schools were allowed to remain segregated. The policy, noted for its similarity to the amendment sponsored by Stennis the previous year, was passed in the Senate on April 22 in a 44 to 34 vote. [36]

In May 1971, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard sent a letter to Stennis concerning an amendment by Harold Hughes to the draft extension bill, warning that the bill could lead to base closings and serious economic problems. [37]

In July 1972, Stennis said it was essential that Congress appropriate $20.5 million for the funding of military supplies and research to meet the basic requirements for the national defense program. [38]

In January 1973, Stennis was shot twice in the left side of his chest and left thigh outside his Washington home by two teenagers. The suspects apparently robbed him of his wallet, a watch, and twenty-five cents. [39] [40]

On January 23, 1974, sources disclosed that Stennis had met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas H. Moorer for discussions on military snooping in the White House allegations, a Moorer spokesman confirming the meeting but downplaying it as "a routine courtesy call traditionally made in the opening days of a Congressional session". [41]

On February 9, Stennis met privately with Charles Radford, a member of the United States Navy who admitted removing documents from the files of Henry Kissinger in addition to delivering them to the Pentagon. After the meeting's conclusion, Stennis said Radford "was cooperative fully and I have no complaints about him". [42]

In April, Stennis attended the Annual Convention of the Mississippi Economic Council at the Mississippi State Coliseum in Jackson, Mississippi. President Nixon said "no State in the Union is represented by men in the Congress of the United States who more vigorously speak up for their States and for the Nation than has the State of Mississippi" and Stennis would be among those "when they write profiles in courage". [43] [44]

In May 1974, amid the Senate's voting to approve a bill increasing public access to Government information and documents, Stennis opposed an amendment by Maine Senator Edmund Muskie that would have deleted some guidelines for federal judges involving classified information, on the grounds that they were "flirting here with things that can be deadly and dangerous to our national welfare". The amendment passed 56 to 29. [45]

In November 1974, Stennis announced his intent to advocate for the creation of a congressional fact‐finding committee to investigate the possibility of a conspiracy being behind price disparities. [46]

In March 1976, amid the Senate voting unanimously to seat Henry Bellmon, Stennis was one of nine Democrats to vote alongside Republicans to put aside a motion declaring the Senate unable to determine a winner and the seat would require a special election to fill the vacancy. [47] Later that month, Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire requested Stennis delay action on the nomination of Albert Hall as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. [48] In May, Stennis and Texan John Tower cosponsored a measure to remove the Select Committee on Intelligence's legislative jurisdiction over Defense Department intelligence operations, the amendment being defeated 63 to 31. [49] In June 1976, Stennis joined a coalition of Democrats endorsing Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter for the presidency. [50] The New York Times assessed Stennis and Eastland as jointly "trying to pull Mississippi out for Mr. Carter" in their first campaign for a national Democrat in decades. [51]

In February 1977, after President Carter selected Paul Warnke as his nominee for Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, [52] Stennis announced that Warnke had agreed to testify before the Armed Services Committee. [53] On April 16, President Carter announced his approval for full or substantial funding of the Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway. The New York Times wrote that Carter's approval had prevented him from "having to fight with" Stennis, Eastland, and John J. Sparkman. [54] In June, Stennis authorized a request by Colorado Democrat Gary Hart to delay hearings on the promotion of Donn A. Starry to United States Army Training and Doctrine Command [55] Starry was later confirmed to the position. [56] In July, President Carter sent Stennis a letter stating his decision on deployment would come after he received reports on the neutron bomb from the Pentagon and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. [57] After the November death of Arkansas Senator John L. McClellan, Stennis was seen as a potential chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in the event Warren Magnuson did not attempt to take the position himself. [58]

In April 1978, after President Carter announced a halt on production of neutron weapons, Stennis was noted as one of the senators dissatisfied with the decision. [59] In July, Stennis introduced an amendment to the Endangered Species Act which would authorize any head of a government agency to be able to decide whether the individual's agency had a project that outweighed the importance of preserving a species. The amendment was defeated 76 to 22. [60]

In September 1978, after the House voted to approve a $37 billion defense spending bill, Stennis made moves toward producing a new bill that maintained similar attributes to the House-passed measure with the exception of the carrier. Defense Secretary Harold Brown issued a statement a short time afterward praising Stennis and Representatives Melvin Price and George H. Mahon as "dedicated and patriotic Americans", rhetoric that was seen as matching the tone "evidently designed to repair the rift the veto opened between the White House and defense leaders in Congress" used by President Carter in his own statement. [61] In October, the Carter administration disclosed that President Carter had reversed his choice to not approve construction of the large nuclear‐powered aircraft carrier. Carter was said to have personally assured Stennis he would not veto the carrier. [62]

1970 re-election campaign Edit

Vietnam Edit

In April 1970, in response to the Nixon administration's choice to back efforts by the South Vietnamese in Cambodia, [63] senators made moves toward ending funding for American military aid there. Stennis and Michigan Senator Robert P. Griffin described the operation as one limited in scale and with the purpose of destroying sanctuaries of the North Vietnamese and Vietcong in Cambodia on the South Vietnam border. [64] In July, Stennis advocated for the United States adopting an ABM system to safeguard against Soviet SS‐9 intercontinental ballistics missiles and called on fellow senators to recall "the grim fact of rapidly increasing Russian strategic forces which could place this country in jeopardy in the years ahead." [65] In August, as the Senate voted to bar the United States from paying larger allowances to allied troops in Vietnam than it pays to American soldiers, Stennis said he was impressed with the legislation and that he would be in favor if "some adjustment can be made consistent with our honor". Stennis also pledged to try arranging an agreement between the two chambers on the final military procurement bill. Stennis furthered that the United States "would have to observe any commitments it might have already made, and that some delicacy might be necessary since American forces are leaving Vietnam." [66] In September, the Senate voted on the McGovern–Hatfield Amendment, a proposal that would have required the end of military operations in Vietnam by December 31, 1970 and a complete withdrawal of American forces halfway through the next year. Stennis argued the amendment was constitutional and that Congress had "the sole power to appropriate money". The amendment was defeated in a vote of 55 to 39. [67]

In May 1971, the Senate rejected legislation designed to prohibit assignments of draftees to combat in Vietnam after the end of the year without consent on the part of the draftees. Stennis said the legislation would have caused the creation of two classes of soldiers where one group could fight and the other could not while arguing that any army unit "would be rendered inoperative if each man's record had to be reviewed by the commanders before they acted in an emergency". [68]

In March 1972, John D. Lavelle was relieved of duty as commander of the Seventh Air Force in Southeast Asia due to alleged misconduct over bombing missions in Vietnam, [69] [70] President Nixon announcing the appointment of Creighton W. Abrams as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army by Nixon in June. [71] A week later, during a Senate floor speech, Stennis announced a full hearing would be conducted around the pending retirement of Lavelle, his announcement coming in light of new testimony linking Creighton W. Abrams to an unauthorized bombing of North Vietnam. The move by Stennis was viewed as serving "to complicate further an already intricate series of changes at the top of the Army's command structure". [72] On September 13, Stennis said there was a conflict in the testimony of Abrams and Lavelle regarding the intricacies of the strikes, specifying the difference in who was behind them and their planning. This difference, he stated, would need further inspection from the committee, declining to specify the particular conflict in their account while speaking to newsmen. [73] Later that month, Lavelle sent Stennis a letter detailing his activities and other information pertaining to the case. [74]

In April 1973, Stennis, in a statement drafted at Walter Reed Army Hospital while he was still recovering from gunshot injuries, called for legislation that would prevent the President from restoring American troops in Vietnam without congressional backing. [75] The Senate, in a vote of 71 to 18, approved a similar measure in July, barring the president from being able to commit American armed forces to future foreign hostilities without the consent of Congress. Stennis sent a letter to Edmund Muskie advising that cluttering the "war powers bill with other matters" would give the measure the possibility of overriding a veto. [76]

In May 1974, Stennis announced the Senate Armed Services Committee had approved $21.8 billion in weapons production and research for the upcoming fiscal year, a 5.6 percent decrease in the funding requested by the Nixon administration. [77]

Other foreign policy issues Edit

In May 1970, Stennis argued against an amendment by Frank Church and John Sherman Cooper that if enacted would prohibit funds for retaining American troops in Cambodia, telling Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman J. William Fulbright he did not understand how a president could select a date without assurance there would be no reversals in battle. After Stennis recalled President Nixon's having made an estimate on when the U.S. would exit the conflict, Fulbright said Stennis had confirmed his belief that Nixon did not mean it when he said American involvement in Cambodia would be over by July 1. Stennis then charged Fulbright with putting words in his mouth. [78]

On May 12, 1971, Stennis introduced legislation curbing the ability of the president to commence war without congressional consent. Stennis called the choice to declare war "too big a decision for one mind to make and too awesome a responsibility for one man to bear" and that he was aiming for Congress to give consideration to the idea posed in his measure for roughly a year before drafting any legislation. The introduction of the measure was viewed "as one of those potentially historic moments when the action of one man can turn the tide of policy". [79] In June, the Senate turned down an amendment by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy that would have enabled young men registering for the draft have the right to lawyer and hearings in the style of a courtroom before their local draft boards. With multiple amendments still needing to be voted on by the chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield afterward announced that Stennis, Hugh Scott, and himself would present a petition to end a debate. [80]

On July 31, 1972, Stennis announced his support for the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. [81]

In September 1973, the White House disclosed President Nixon had written Stennis, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott to urge Senate approval of the full weapons budget requested by his administration. [82] Days later, the Senate rejected an amendment by Mansfield requiring a reduction in American troops abroad in a vote of 51 to 44 after initially voting in favor of it. Along with Texan Lloyd Bentsen, Stennis was noted as one of two Democratic senators to have backed the Nixon administration who were absent during the first vote. [83]

In September 1974, Stennis argued in favor of the $82.5 billion defense appropriations bill the Senate sent to the White House, a measure noted for having a $4.4 billion decrease in the amount requested by the Ford administration for the 1975 fiscal year, saying it was not reducing "the muscle of America's military". [84]

In May 1977, Washington Senator Henry M. Jackson named Stennis as one of the senators who was part of a bipartisan attempt to develop, in reference to the SALT II treaty, "the kind of agreement that . will stabilize the situation in the world." [85] By May 1979, the New York Times wrote that Stennis was one of the moderate senators who would swing the vote on the SALT II treaty and along with West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was viewed as "possibly timing their decisions to influence other waverers". [86] On June 19, Stennis, Robert Byrd, and Frank Church consented to the Senate Armed Services Committee holding separate hearings on SALT II on July 23, allowing the Senate Foreign Relations committee to have two weeks as the only committee reviewing the treaty. [87]

At the end of January 1978, Stennis announced his opposition to the Panama Canal treaties, citing their causing the U.S. to withdrawal from the Canal Zone too rapidly, a move that he furthered would leave the U.S. "highly uncertain what is going to happen down there". [88]

In July 1978, the Senate voted to approve the construction of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and military spending bill authorizing the Pentagon to spend $36 – billion for weapons. Stennis stated his hope and prediction "that this will be the last bill that will have a carrier of this type". [89]

In September 1979, Stennis held a private meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance over the Soviet brigade in Cuba. [90] Stennis also met with President Carter for a discussion on future arms spending which failed to resolve a disagreement over budget increases that could potentially determine the fate of the proposed treaty to limit strategic arms. Stennis said after the meeting he believed the senators had made some progress with Carter. [91] Later that month, on September 27, President Carter signed the Panama Canal Act of 1979 into law, saying in part, "I particularly want to thank Senators Stennis and Levin and Congressmen Murphy, Bowen, and Derwinski for their outstanding leadership in resolving the many difficult issues embodied in this act." [92] In October, during a committee hearing, Stennis stated his opposition to suggestions recommending that the Senate postpone action on the strategic arms treaty with the Soviet Union until the following year, and that he believed the treaty debate in the Senate should continue on the ground that the issue would likely be more clear at the present time than it possibly would months later. Stennis, by then considered an influential member of the Senate to newer members in both parties, was seen as "useful to President Carter in trying to stave off attempts to delay or kill the pact". [93] In December, the Senate Armed Services Committee agreed on a formula for making public a report condemning the pending nuclear arms treaty with the Soviet Union on the condition that the report would not make any specific recommendation to the Senate while concluding that the treaty was not in the "national security interests" of the United States without undergoing major changes. Making the report public was seen as a victory to opponents of the treaty but also by Senate aides as having a larger impact on Stennis's authority, the aides citing Stennis finally having bent to pressure from senators opposed to the treaty over issuing the report and possibly weakening his control over the committee. [94]

Watergate Edit

In October 1973, during the Watergate scandal, the Nixon administration proposed the Stennis Compromise, wherein the hard-of-hearing Stennis would listen to the contested Oval Office tapes and report on their contents, but this plan went nowhere. Time magazine ran a picture of John Stennis that read: "Technical Assistance Needed". The picture had his hand cupped around his ear.

In January 1974, during a telephone interview, Stennis indicated his intent to investigate on allegations of military spying in the White House, saying he did not expect the White House to intervene with the inquiry and confirmed he was not familiar with the spying until news reports. [95] After Nixon's resignation, [96] Stennis opposed pursuing criminal charges, arguing that his leaving office was enough punishment. [97] The resignation was followed a month later by President Ford's pardon of Nixon, [98] a move Stennis and other conservative Democrats favored. [99]

1976 re-election campaign Edit

In January 1974, Stennis said his health was without complications (from the shooting in 1973) and that he would be running for another term in 1976. [100] Stennis was re-elected without opposition. [101]

1980s Edit

In November 1980, Defense Secretary Harold Brown sent two letters to Stennis complaining that the House of Representatives had added $7.5 billion in new programs and deleted $5 billion in administration programs for a net increase of $2.5 billion and urging the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense instead approve the administration's budget. The Senate instead approved $161 billion, $6 billion more than what the administration proposed and $3.5 million more than approved in the House. [102]

In early 1981, Stennis was replaced by John Tower as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Virginia Senator John Warner said, "With no disrespect to Senator John Stennis, our former chairman, John Tower will provide a more vigorous thrust to the committee." [103]

In spring 1981, Stennis predicted there would be larger opposition to military spending in the event of new proposals in favor of more funds being allocated. The New York Times referred back to Stennis in July when Senator Mark Hatfield conducted his first detailed foray into military spending as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. [104] In a Senate floor speech, Stennis warned that "great pressure" to an increase would persist with continued showing of a deficit in the federal budget and Americans would stop supporting the military and its budget "if our military forces do not show real improvement without damaging the health of our economy". [105]

In June 1982, Stennis was renominated for a seventh term, defeating Charles Pittman and radio station owner Colon Johnston by a wide margin. [106] Stennis faced political operative Haley Barbour in the general election. Barbour's supporters poked fun at Stennis's age, an issue the senator made self-deprecating comments about. President Reagan met with Stennis during the general election and promised he would not campaign for Barbour, despite Reagan's taping an ad for Barbour attacking Stennis for his age. [107]

Stennis lost his left leg to cancer in 1984 [108] and subsequently used a wheelchair.

Stennis was named President pro tempore of the United States Senate during the 100th Congress (1987–1989). During his Senate career he chaired, at various times, the Select Committee on Standards and Conduct, and the Armed Services, and Appropriations Committees.

In February 1988, along with Robert Byrd and John Melcher, Stennis was one of three senators to attend the traditional reading of the farewell address of President George Washington by North Carolina Senator Terry Sanford. [109]

In February 1988, Stennis was one of twelve Democrats to support the Reagan administration-backed $43 million aid to Nicaraguan rebels. [110]

In June 1988, Stennis voted against a bill authorizing the use of the death penalty on drug dealers convicted of murder. [111]

A dinner in honor of Stennis was held on June 23, 1988 in the Sheraton Ballroom of the Sheraton-Washington Hotel. President Reagan delivered an address praising Stennis for his service in the Senate and announced "as an expression of the Nation's gratitude for the public service of the man we honor tonight, the Navy's next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, CVN-74, will be christened the U.S.S. John C. Stennis [sic]." [112]

Civil rights record Edit

Based on his voting record, Stennis was an ardent supporter of racial segregation. In the 1950s and 1960s, he vigorously opposed the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 he signed the Southern Manifesto of 1956, supporting filibuster tactics to block or delay passage in all cases.

Earlier, as a prosecutor, he sought the conviction and execution of three sharecroppers whose murder confessions had been extracted by torture, including flogging. [113] The convictions were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Brown v. Mississippi (1936) which banned the use of evidence obtained by torture. The transcript of the trial indicated Stennis was fully aware the suspects had been tortured.

Later in his political career, Stennis supported one piece of civil rights legislation, the 1982 extension of the Voting Rights Act, which passed in the Senate by an 85–8 vote. [114] [115] A year later, he voted against establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday. [116] Stennis campaigned for Mike Espy in 1986 during Espy's successful bid to become the first black Congressman from the state since the end of Reconstruction.

Opposition to Bork Edit

Stennis opposed President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 23, 1987, Stennis voted with all but two Democrats and six Republicans to defeat Bork's nomination.

In 1982, his last election, Stennis easily defeated Republican Haley Barbour. Declining to run for re-election in 1988, Stennis retired in 1989, having never lost an election. He took a teaching post at his alma mater, Mississippi State University, working there until his death in Jackson, Mississippi, at the age of 93. One of his student aides at Mississippi State University, David Dallas, wrote and performed a one-man play about his time with the Senator.

At the time of Stennis's retirement, his continuous tenure of 41 years and 2 months in the Senate was second only to that of Carl Hayden. (It has since been surpassed by Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, Ted Kennedy, Daniel Inouye, Patrick Leahy, and Orrin Hatch, leaving Stennis eighth).

USS John C. Stennis: Does the U.S. Navy Need to Rename This Aircraft Carrier?

Naming one of the most powerful symbols of America’s military and political might after a segregationist senator from Mississippi was an avoidable mistake. Fortunately, the refueling of CVN-74 offers the USN a unique opportunity to correct that error.

As Peter Suciu has reported, an argument is developing that the U.S. Navy ought to use the opportunity of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) refuel to change the name of the aircraft carrier to something more appropriate for the current political climate. Stennis was an unapologetic racist and segregationist, redeemed only (in the eyes of the Navy) by his friendliness to greater naval appropriations.

The problem with the Stennis name is not simply that it honors a dedicated white supremacist and defender of segregation it is that few outside the United States (and indeed, few within the US) have any idea who Stennis was. Given that aircraft carriers are tools of political and diplomatic statecraft, having to explain the relevance of Stennis to a foreign audience is more than awkward it’s an embarrassment in non-white countries.

The Navy’s approach to naming aircraft carriers is, to be kind, almost wholly incoherent from a historical perspective. The first aircraft carrier, USS Langley, was named for Samuel Langley, an inventor and scientist who served as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. The next two carriers (Lexington and Saratoga) were named after battles in the Revolutionary War, a pattern followed by Yorktown (CV-5) and Enterprise (CV-6). Other early carriers were given names from US naval history, including Ranger (CV-4), Wasp (CV-7), and Hornet (CV-8). From that point, the Navy has tacked between a variety of traditions. Fortunately, this means that there are multiple good options for renaming the Stennis.

Former Aircraft Carriers

Beginning with USS Yorktown (CV-10), the United States Navy began to name aircraft carriers after previous carriers that had been lost in combat. USS Hornet (CV-12), USS Lexington (CV-16) and USS Wasp (CV-18) followed this tradition. The Forrestal class aircraft carriers carried it on, adopting the names Saratoga (CV-60), Ranger (CV-61), and Independence (CV-62), all in honor of carriers that had survived World War II. The Navy has not entirely abandoned this tradition, instead transferring it to the large flat-decked amphibious assault ships. Most of the Wasp-class are named after Essex- or Independence-class ships from World War II, although some (Makin Island, for example) take their names from smaller escort carriers.

In sum, numerous distinguished carrier names are available for redubbing Stennis, including Hornet, Lexington, Yorktown, Ranger, and Saratoga, all warships that served with great distinction in World War II. USS Coral Sea, in honor of the Battle of Coral Sea and also of the Midway-class carrier that served from 1947 to 1991, is also available. The ersatz Hornet, Lexington, and Yorktown are currently museum ships, but memorialization has not prevented the re-use of battleship names such as North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, and Massachusetts.

Former Presidents

Beginning with USS Franklin Roosevelt, the second ship of the Midway-class, the U.S. Navy began to name aircraft carriers after Presidents. This trend continued haphazardly through the USS John F. Kennedy, a Kitty Hawk-class carrier, and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower before becoming more or less the preferred naming convention by the middle group of the Nimitz class nuclear supercarriers. CVN-78, the lead ship of the latest class of supercarriers, is named in honor of Gerald Ford. There are several Presidents now available for naming, including notable two-termers William J. Clinton and Barack H. Obama. Indeed, the Navy may have chosen the name Dorie Miller for CVN-81 in order to avoid the controversy of naming a new carrier after Clinton or Obama during the Trump administration, given Trump’s fraught relations with both former Presidents.

If the Navy decided to avoid the obvious difficulty of re-naming a carrier after a living President, it has the readily available choice of Ulysses S. Grant, the US Army general who played the decisive role in the defeat of the Confederacy and the end of the institution of slavery in North America. Grant’s name was used for a Cold War SSBN, but given his historical importance, few are likely to complain about renaming the Stennis in his honor.

The Navy has a long-established tradition of naming aircraft carriers after non-Presidential heroes, beginning with the aforementioned Samuel Langley. Other carriers including Franklin (CV-13), Hancock (CV-19), Wright (CVL-49), Forrestal (CV-59), and Nimitz (CV-68) followed this convention. Both Stennis and Vinson were justified under this convention, given the contributions that the legislators made to funding the Navy during the Cold War. Doris Miller (CVN-81), named after a Congressional Medal of Honor winner from World War II, follows this tradition.

US naval history offers many examples for giving Stennis a more appropriate name

USS King (after Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King) has been available since 1991. However, in accordance with the example set by Dorie Miller, which recognized under-represented minorities in the US Navy, the best option might be the USS Ernest J. Evans, captain of the destroyer USS Johnston at the Battle off Samar. Evans, a Naval Academy graduate who was three-quarters Native American, won the Congressional Medal of Honor but lost his life in combat against a massively superior force of Japanese cruisers and battleships.

Naming one of the most powerful symbols of America’s military and political might after a segregationist senator from Mississippi was an avoidable mistake. Fortunately, the refueling of CVN-74 offers the USN a unique opportunity to correct that error.

Robert Farley is a Senior Lecturer at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. His work includes military doctrine, national security, and maritime affairs. He writes at Lawyers, Guns and Money and Information Dissemination and The Diplomat. Follow him on Twitter:@drfarls.


This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Nimitz Class Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier
    Keel Laid 13 March 1991 - Christened 11 November 1993
    Launched 13 November 1993

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.


This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.

USS John C. Stennis: The Deadly Aircraft Carrier That Might Get Its Name Changed

The Nimitz-class carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is scheduled to begin its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH), which essentially marks the “halfway” point in a nuclear aircraft carrier’s lifecycle. In addition, the RCOH will address about thirty-five percent of all maintenance and modernization required during the carrier’s fifty-year service life. Work will reportedly include refueling the ship’s nuclear reactors, while work will be conducted on more than 2,300 components as well as the hundreds of tanks and systems.

What is uncertain is whether the 1,092-foot long carrier will reenter service in 2025 with a new name?

USS John C. Stennis, A History

Nicknamed “Johnny Reb,” CVN-74 was commissioned in December 1995 and named in honor of Democratic Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi, who hadn’t lost an election in 60 years.

The name of the carrier, which was approved by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1988, was an interesting choice as Stennis wasn’t a navy man. All of the other carriers in the Nimitz-class are named for either those with ties to the service – including Adm. Chester W. Nimitz and Carl Vinson, a Congressman who was known as the Father of the Two-Ocean Navy – or former U.S. presidents.

Stennis is neither, and the naming of the carrier has been the subject of controversy as he was an outspoken critic of civil rights and racial equality. The nickname has also drawn its share of criticism in recent years.

Operational Record

The seventh Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier was commissioned in December 1996. She completed her inaugural overseas deployment in the summer of 1998 when the crew of more than 5,200 sailors participated in six naval exercises and more than 700 shipboard drills.

In May 2001, while part of Carrier Group 7 the ship served as what was described as the largest and most expensive outdoor theater when it was used for the world premiere of the film Pearl Harbor. During the special screening, more than 2,000 people attended the premiere on the ship, which required special grandstand seating as well as one of the world’s largest movie screens assembled on the flight deck.

USS John C Stennis CVN 74 - History

The USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) seal was produced from the combined efforts of several crewmembers with historical help from the Stennis Center for Public Service, the John C. Stennis Space Center and the United States Senate Historian. The Seal implies peace through strength, just as Senator Stennis was referred to as an "unwavering advocate of peace through strength" by President Ronald Reagan, when the ship's name was announced in June 1988.

The circular shape signifies the NIMITZ class aircraft carrier's unique ability to circle the world without refueling while providing a forward presence from the sea. The predominant colors are red, white, blue and gold, the same as our country and our Navy. The outer border, taken from one version of a U.S. Senate crest, represents the strength through unity of the ship's crew.

The four gold bands and eight ties denote John C. Stennis' four decades (41 years) in the Senate and the eight presidents with which he served from President Truman to President Reagan. The seven stars in the blue border represent his seven terms in the Senate and characterize USS JOHN C. STENNIS as the seventh NIMITZ class aircraft carrier.

The red and white stripes inside the blue border represent our flag and the American people USS JOHN C. STENNIS serves. They also honor the courage and sacrifice of our country's Armed Forces.

The eagle and shield is a representation of the gilt eagle and shield overlooking the Old Senate Chamber, which Senator Stennis' dedicated efforts helped to restore.

The shield represents the United States of America, the country USS JOHN C. STENNIS and her Air Wing serves and protects.

The twenty stars represent our twentieth state, Mississippi, the home of John C. Stennis.

The three arrows in the eagles' talons symbolize the Ship and Air Wing's awesome ability to project power. They also represent Senator John C. Stennis over three decades on both the Senate Armed Service Committee (37 years) and Appropriations Committee (33 years), where he oversaw our country's military capabilities and earned the title "Father of America's Modern Navy."

The burst of light emanating from the shield, representative of the emergence of a new nation in the United State Senate Seal, portrays the birth of over 25 major Aviation programs under Senator Stennis' leadership, including all aircraft carriers from USS FORRESTAL (CV-59) to USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75), and aircraft from the F-4 Phantom to the F/A- 18 Hornet.

The eagle is representative of John C. Stennis stature in the U. S. Senate where he was respected and admired as a "soaring eagle" by his colleagues. It also symbolizes independence and strength and depicts the constant readiness of USS JOHN C. STENNIS and her Air Wing to preserve, protect and defend freedom.

The carrier, cutting her powerful swath through the sea, exemplifies Senator Stennis' philosophy of "Look Ahead." Embodied in the ship are the principles of honor, courage and commitment, principles that John Cornelius Stennis constantly upheld in his service to America, and values the ship's crew will uphold in their service. The carrier's path also evokes John C. Stennis' pledge to "plow a straight furrow down to the end of my row," just as the ship will steer a steady course to complete all missions in the preservation and defense of freedom.

The nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was contracted on 29 March 1988, and the keel was laid on 13 March 1991 at Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va.

The ship was christened on 11 November 1993, in honor of Senator John Cornelius Stennis (D-Mississippi) who served in the Senate from 1947 to 1989. The daughter of the ship&rsquos namesake, Mrs. Margaret Stennis-Womble, was the ship&rsquos sponsor. Stennis was commissioned on 9 December 1995 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va, and she conducted flight deck certification in January 1996. The first arrested landing was by a VX-23 F-14B. The ship conducted numerous Carrier Qualifications and Independent Steaming Exercises off the East Coast throughout the next two years. Included among these events was the first carrier landing of an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet on 18 January 1997.

On 26 February 1998 withCarrier Air Wing Sevenembarked, Stennis left Norfolk for her maiden deployment, transiting the Suez Canal on 7 March and arriving in thePersian Gulf on 11 March 1998. The ship traveled 8020 nm in 274 hours, an average speed of 29.4 knots (54.4 km/h) to relieve USSGeorge Washington in conducting Operation Southern Watch missions. Stennis departed the Persian Gulf on 19 July 1998 for her new home port of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, arriving on 26 August 1998.

In October 1998, Stennis entered a 6-month Phased Incremental Availability for maintenance and upgrades at North Island, returning to sea in April 1999. During the maintenance period, a jet blast deflector collapsed, severely injuring two sailors.

On 30 November 1999, Stennis ran aground in a shallow area adjacent to the turning basin near North Island. Silt clogged the intake pipes to the steam condensing systems for the nuclear reactor plants, causing the carrier&rsquos two nuclear reactors to be shut down (one reactor by crew, the other automatically) for a period of 45 minutes. Stennis was towed back to her pier for maintenance and observation for the next two days. The cleanup cost was about $2 million.

2000 &ndash Persian Gulf/Pacific Ocean

On 7 January 2000, Stennis deployed to the Persian Gulf to relieve USS John F. Kennedy in Operation Southern Watch. During the deployment, the ship made port visits to South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, before returning to San Diego on 3 July 2000.

USS Harry S. Truman Suffers Major Electrical Malfunction, Raising Questions About Upcoming Deployment

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), left, and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) transit behind the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) in the Atlantic Ocean on July 10, 2019. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is experiencing a malfunction of the ship’s electrical distribution system ahead of an expected deployment this fall , USNI News has learned. Read More &rarr

USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

USS JOHN C. STENNIS is 1,092 feet long and towers some 20 stories above the waterline. As a self-contained city, JOHN C. STENNIS has virtually the same amenities as any American city with a comparable population. It has a daily newspaper, radio and television stations, fire department, library, hospital, general store, laundry, two barbershops and even a post office with its own zip code.

General Characteristics: Keel Laid: March 13, 1991
Launched: Nov. 11, 1993
Commissioned: Dec. 9, 1995
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News Va.
Propulsion system: two nuclear reactors
Main Engines: four
Propellers: four
Blades on each Propeller: five
Aircraft elevators: four
Catapults: four
Arresting gear cables: four
Length, overall: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 257 feet (78.34 meters)
Area of flight deck: about 4.5 acres (18211.5 m 2 )
Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters)
Draft: 38.4 feet (11.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 100,000 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Planes: approx. 85
Crew: Ship: approx. 3,200 , Air Wing: 2,480
Armament: two Mk-57 Mod 3 Sea Sparrow launchers, three 20mm Phalanx CIWS Mk 15, two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Systems
Homeport: Bremerton, Wash.

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


  • If lined up end-to-end, the bed mattresses would stretch more than nine miles
  • Other intersting figures:
    • Number of telephones: 2,000
    • Tons of structural steel: about 60,000 tons
    • Sheets: 28,000
    • Pillow Cases: 14,000

    Accidents aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS:

    USS JOHN C. STENNIS comes alongside the USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) March 30, 1998, in the Arabian Gulf where both ships were deployed in support of UN-mandated sanctions against Iraq and enforcement of the "No-Fly Zone" under OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH.

    USS JOHN C. STENNIS Patch Gallery:

    Click here for more USS JOHN C. STENNIS Patches.

    USS JOHN C. STENNIS Image Gallery:

    Click here to view more photos.

    The photos below were taken by Ian Johnson on April 29, 2002, and show the USS JOHN C. STENNIS anchored in Gage Roads off the port of Fremantle, Australia. This was the carrier's third visit to Western Australia

    The photos below were taken by Ian Johnson on September 30, 2004, and show the USS JOHN C. STENNIS anchored in Gage Roads off the port of Fremantle, Australia. This was the carrier's fourth visit to Western Australia

    The photos below were taken by me on March 23, 2010, and show the USS JOHN C. STENNIS at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, Calif.. The first two photos show her just a few hours before departing for Bremerton, Wash. The third photo shows the carrier during sunset while getting underway.

    The photos below were taken by me on May 12, 2012, and show the USS JOHN C. STENNIS at her homeport of Bremerton, Wash.

    The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USS JOHN C. STENNIS at Bremerton, Wash., on October 13, 2017.

    The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the USS JOHN C. STENNIS during Fleet Fest 2019 at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on October 19, 2019.

    Watch the video: US Navy: USS John C. Stennis CVN-74 2012 Deployment: Fair winds and following seas!