USS NIMITZ CVN 68
The keel for the Nimitz (CVAN 68) was laid down on June 22, 1968, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Va.
May 13, 1972 The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Nimitz was christened and launched from Shipway 11, Newport News. Based upon a design originally submitted to build the Midway class of aircraft carriers during WWII, the company raised the 1,100 foot long submerged shipway from tidal flats and extended it to accommodate Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Capt. Bryan W. Compton, Jr., is the prospective commanding officer.
March 1, 1975 PCU Nimitz underway for the first time to conduct Builder's sea trials.
April 12, The Nimitz arrived for the first time in its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Va., after delivered to the U.S. Navy on April 11.
May 3, USS Nimitz was commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk's Pier 12. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf and CNO Adm. James L. Holloway, III, were among the more than 20,000 guests.
May 31, Adm. Isaac C. Kidd, Jr., relieved Adm. Ralph W. Cousins as Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, during a change-of-command ceremony on board the Nimitz.
July 1, The U.S. Navy replaced the aircraft carrier designation CVA with CV for all such ships still so designated, including Nimitz, a redesignation made to improve the accuracy of ship nomenclature, reflecting their roles in modern warfare. By removing the letter A (attack), the new designation CV indicated a multi-role ship capable of performing air, surface and ASW roles, depending upon the types of aircraft embarked and missions assigned.
From July 16 through Aug. 24, USS Nimitz underwent its initial Operational Readiness Evaluation (ORE) in the Guantanamo Bay Operating Area, Cuba. After departing Caribbean, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier operated in the North Atlantic with Nuclear Task Force (TF) 75 and returned to Norfolk on Sept. 24.
On October 1, CVN 68 entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, Va., for a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA).
From January 28 through Feb. 10, 1976, the Nimitz conducted Refresher Training (REFTRA) in the Guantanamo Bay OPAREA.
From May 11-20, the carrier participated in a pre-deployment exercise Solid Shield, off the Carolinas.
July 7, 1976 USS Nimitz departed Naval Station Norfolk for its maiden deployment in the Mediterranean. Included in the task force were the nuclear-powered cruisers USS South Carolina (CGN 37) and USS California (CGN 36).
July 16, USS Nimitz conducted turnover with USS Saratoga (CV 60) off Morocco. On July 27, the ship stood by in readiness to assist in the possible evacuation of over 1,100 Americans from Lebanon, a country wracked by civil war.
From Oct. 3-11, the Nimitz participated in Display Determination, an exercise with over 45 Allied vessels, designed to test North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) power projection across the Mediterranean.
From Nov. 18-19, a detachment from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, comprising one E-2B, two A-6Es and one EA-6B, participated in Joint Maritime Course 764. The 40 man contingent joined British, Canadian, German and Norwegian forces in the multi-national exercise conducted off northern and eastern Scotland.
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) relieved USS Nimitz at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Jan. 25-27, 1977. CVN 68 returned home on Feb. 7.
March 10, The Nimitz entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a four-month Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA).
December 1, 1977 USS Nimitz, commanded by Capt. Richard T. Gaskill, departed homeport for its second Mediterranean deployment. F-14A Tomcats, S-3A Vikings and SH-3Hs deployed for the first time.
March 15, 1978 The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier anchored off the coast of Venice, Italy, for a five-day visit.
From May 2-9, USS Nimitz participated in NATO exercise Open Gate, off the coast of Portugal.
From May 16-29, Nimitz participated in NATO exercise Dawn Patrol, with over 70 ships and submarines, stretching across the central and eastern Mediterranean. Nimitz’s aircrew tested their mettle against their counterparts flying aircraft from USS Forrestal (CV 59) and the French Navy’s FS Foch (R 99), as well as against USAF and NATO commands. CVW-8 flew over 1,800 sorties and 4,300 hours during Dawn Patrol’s brisk pace.
July 7, CVN 68 arrived at Naval Station Rota, for the second time, to conduct turnover with USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67).
July 20, USS Nimitz returned to Norfolk after a nearly eight-month deployment.
October 2, Adm. Harry D. Train, II, relieved Adm. Kidd as Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, Commander-in-Chief Atlantic, and Commander, Atlantic Fleet during a ceremony aboard the Nimitz.
January 5, 1979 USS Nimitz returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a three-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Although the carrier concluded the SRA on Dec. 13, "a lack of pier space" at NS Norfolk forced it to remain yard-bound.
From Feb. 20 through March 2, the Nimitz conducted Refresher Training with Fleet Training Group in the Guantanamo Bay Op. Area.
Upon returning to Norfolk from Carrier Qualifications in May, the CVN 68 commenced a two-month repairs to a propulsion plant structural defect.
September 10, 1979 USS Nimitz, commanded by Capt. John R. Batzler, departed Naval Station Norfolk for its third Mediterranean deployment.
From Oct. 31- Nov. 12, the Nimitz played a key role in CRISEX, a joint naval amphibious exercise with the Spaniards that envisioned a scenario to repel invaders from gaining a foothold along the Spanish Mediterranean coast; the evolution involved more than two dozen ships, submarines and 35,000 troops.
November 3, An F-14A, assigned to Fighter Squadron (VF) 41, crashed into the water after failed to recover from a high speed, low level (80º–90º) practice combat air patrol interception vs. USAF F-111 Aardvarks, off the eastern Spanish coast. Cmdr. David J. Formo, "Black Aces" CO, and Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas J. DeLello were killed.
In November, An A-6E Intruder, assigned to Attack Squadron (VA) 35, and piloted by Lt. Cmdr. John M. Luecke and Lt. j.g. Frederick Eliot, completed the 50,000th landing on board the Nimitz.
December 6, An A-6A, assigned to Attack Squadron (VA) 35, suffered what appeared to be a "catastrophic wing failure" and crashed into the water, possibly due to being struck accidentally by weapons released by another Intruder, while conducting a bombing run at Avgo Nisi, a small deserted Greek island north of Crete. Lt. j.g. Mark S. Gontkovic and Lt. j.g. Anthony J. R. were killed.
December 16, An EA-6B, assigned to Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 134, experienced "fuel starvation" during an emergency divert to Palermo, Sicily. The pilot, Lt. j.g. Robert W. Dark, was killed during ejection.
December 21, The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier anchored off the coast of Naples, Italy, for its half-deployment Standdown period. After a two-week, the USS Nimitz was dispatched to strengthen the U.S. Naval presence in the crucial Indian Ocean area as tensions heightened over Iran's taking of 52 American hostages on Nov. 4.
January 23, 1980 The Nimitz arrived on Gulf of Oman Naval Zone of Operations (GONZO) station, after transiting around the Cape of Good Hope.
April 24-25, Eight Sikorsky RH-53D Sea Stallions took off from USS Nimitz to rescue the hostages held by the Iranians in Operation Eagle Claw (Evening Light). The helos were heading to "Desert One", a pre-selected refueling site in the Iranian desert, a distance of almost 600 n.m., to load a 120 man Army assault team and proceed to two additional sites. Six Lockheed C-130 Hercules with the ground rescue forces flew on a different track and time schedule from al Masirah Island, Oman, to Desert One. Helicopter No. 6 experienced a mechanical malfunction approximately two hours into the operation and was forced to come about. A haboob, a huge dust cloud, slammed into the formation barely an hour later. The helo crews resolutely broke out of it and continued, but encountered a second larger haboob almost immediately. Helicopter No. 5 suffered a "critical" failure and returned to the carrier. Helicopter No. 2 suffered multiple mechanical failures while en route, though the crew chose to continue to Desert One to effect repairs, which subsequently proved impossible without facilities and parts. Planning called for a minimum of six operational helos to rescue the hostages, and with only five capable of continuing, commanders aborted the mission. While repositioning at Desert One, one of the helos collided with a refueling C-130. In the ensuing explosion and fire, eight servicemen died: five USAF aircrew (including four officers) in the C-130, and three USMC aircrew aboard the RH-53D, with only the helicopter pilot and co-pilot (both badly burned) surviving. During the following frantic evacuation by the C-130s, five Stallions were left behind mostly intact, some damaged by shrapnel. The Iranians gained at least four of them.
May 26, USS Nimitz returned to Norfolk after eight-and-a-half month deployment. The homecoming was the largest given to any carrier battle group returning to the United States since the end of World War II. During this 270 day extended deployment the aircraft carrier operated for 144 of them continuously at sea, including 115 of Iranian contingency operations.
From Aug. 29 through Oct. 17, the Nimitz was deployed to the North Atlantic, participating in Teamwork '80, a multi-threat exercise with British, Canadian, Dutch, German and Norwegian forces.
October 27, USS Nimitz entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a three-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).
May 25, 1981 During work ups off the eastern Florida coast, an EA-6B Prowler, assigned to Marine Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2 Det. Y, crash-landed on the flight deck at 2351, killing 14 crewmen (including Prowler crew: Capt. Elwood M. Armstrong, Jr., 1st Lt. Steve E. White and 1st Lt. Lawrence D. Cragun) and injuring 48 others. The fire destroyed Prowler and three Tomcats, and damaged two Tomcats, nine Corsair IIs, one Intruder, three Vikings and one Sea King. The Nimitz returned to port to repair damaged catapults and returned to sea less than 48 hours later to complete its training schedule.
June 27, An A-7E Corsair II crashed in the Caribbean Sea, around 1.30 a.m., about 50 miles northeast of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 16 miles from the Nimitz. Cmdr. Robert Farris was killed.
August 3, USS Nimitz departed Naval Station Norfolk for its fourth Mediterranean deployment.
On August 18 and 19, USS Nimitz and USS Forrestal (CV 59) conducted an open ocean missile exercise in the Gulf of Sidra near what Libyan leader Khadafi called the "Line of Death." On the morning of Aug. 19, two aircraft from VF-41 were fired upon by Libyan pilots. The pilots returned fire and shot both Libyan Sukhoi Su-22 Fitters from the sky.
On Oct. 6, the Jihad terrorists assassinated Egyptian President Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat, forcing the Nimitz to cut short an intended four day visit to Venice, Italy. CVN 68 proceeded to the eastern Mediterranean, where it remained for 17 days to respond to the ongoing crisis, before returning to Naples, Italy, on Oc. 29.
November 17, An S-3A, assigned to Anti-Submarine Squadron (VS) 24, crashed into the water just aft of Nimitz, about 70 miles northwest of Sicily. CO Cmdr. Phillip L. Reed, Lt. Douglas C. Deem, Lt. j.g. Carey A. Arthur and AW3 Charles Wade were killed.
USS Nimitz conducted turnover with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) while anchored in Tangier Harbor, Morocco, January 16-17, 1982. Both carrier battle groups then participated with the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Battle Group (BG) in multi-threat exercise National Week XXXI, Jan. 20-30.
February 12, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after more than a six-month deployment.
June 24, The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier completed the two-and-a-half month SRA at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).
November 10, USS Nimitz departed Norfolk for its fifth major deployment.
The Nimitz first sailed southward, where she stood off Honduran, Columbian and Venezuelan waters before coming about to eastward. Entered the Mediterranean on Nov. 30. Conducted a cross deck with USS Independence (CV 62), off Lebanon, on Dec. 6.
In March 1983, USS Nimitz operated in the waters north of Libya, with USS Enterprise (CVN 65), after fighting in Chad and Sudan between separatists and Libyan invaders, combined with Libyan threats against the Egyptians, exacerbated a crisis in Equatorial and North Africa.
From Apri 4-27, CVN 68 participated in exercise National Week, operating as the centerpiece of Blue forces against Orange flagship USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
May 10, The Nimitz departed Mediterranean Sea after relieved by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 9. Returned to Norfolk on May 20.
July 23, 1984 USS Nimitz departed for sea trials after completing the 13-month Complex Overhaul (COH) at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company.
September 11, The Nimitz emergency sortied from Naval Station Norfolk to avoid the approaching Hurricane Diana. The ship evaded the storm and began Navy sea trials in the bargain.
September 26, Capt. Eugene D. Conner relieved Capt. Raymond P. Ilgm as CO of the CVN 68.
November 1, Capt. Conner and Cmdr. Daniel L. Rainey, Jr., CO of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, completed Nimitz’s 100,000th trap, in an S-3A.
March 8, 1985 USS Nimitz departed Norfolk for its sixth Mediterranean deployment.
From March 15-27, the aircraft carrier completed Readiness Exercise 1-85 followed by an operational readiness evaluation, in the Caribbean Sea.
From March 28 through April 12, USS Nimitz steamed off the eastern coast of Central America for "U.S. Naval Presence Operations," due to heightened tensions resulting from fighting against Marxist rebels.
April 21, CVN 68 anchored in Augusta Bay, Italy, to conduct turnover with Dwight D. Eisenhower.
From May 6-17, the Nimitz participated in a multi-national exercise Distant Hammer with USAF, French, Italian and Turkish forces in the Mediterranean.
On June 14, two Lebanese Shiite Muslim gunmen hijacked TWA Flight 847, carrying 153 passengers and crew, including many Americans. In response, USS Nimitz cancelled a visit to Livorno, Italy, and was ordered to steam at flank speed to the eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Lebanon, where it remained until August.
From August 4-9, the Nimitz participated in Operation Bright Star '85, a huge exercise with United States, Egyptian, Jordanian, Omani and Somali forces.
USS Nimitz turned over to USS Saratoga (CV 60) at Augusta Bay, Italy, on Sept. 10, but the ongoing crisis in the Middle East in the wake of terrorists kidnapping several Americans in Beirut, forced her to divert and race to eastern Mediterranean.
September 15, ABHAN Adam K. Marks, fell overboard off the port side, when his tractor rolled off the deck into the catwalk, at 0016. An SH-3H from HS-9 rescued him within the hour.
October 4, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after a seven-month deployment.
November 1, CVN 68 entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a four-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).
March 4, 1986 The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier departed for a three-day sea trials.
From August 15 through Oct. 16, USS Nimitz was deployed to North Atlantic for participation in NATO exercises Northern Engagement and Northern Wedding '86, both designed to test NATO’s ability and resolve to defend northern Europe against an East Bloc attack. Ships in company included USS Iowa (BB 61), USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), USS South Carolina (CGN 37), USS Kidd (DDG 993), USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG 23), USS Thorn (DD 988), USS Doyle (FFG 39), USS W.S. Sims (FF 1059), USS Moinester (FF 1097), USS Truett (FF 1095), USS Kalamazoo (AOR 6) and USS Nitro (AE 23).
September 4, An A-7E Corsair II crashed in the Norwegian Sea. Despite an "intensive" search the crew could not recover the pilot.
December 30, USS Nimitz departed Naval Station Norfolk for its seventh major deployment and a homeport change to Bremerton, Wash.
January 25, 1987 An EA-3B Skywarrior from Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 2, crashed while landing on board the Nimitz in the Ionian Sea, at 2328. The front wheel caught the barricade net and the aircraft skidded across the flight deck, going over the edge and breaking apart as it struck the water. Lt. Cmdr. Ronald R. Callander, Lt. Stephen H. Batchelder, Lt. Alan A. Levine, Lt. James D. Richards, AT2 Richard A. Herzing, CTI3 Patrick R. Price and CTI3 Craig H. Rudolf were killed.
February 24, An A-7E, assigned to Attack Squadron (VA) 82, crashed at sea after a cat shoot. The pilot ejected safely.
From May 3-15, the Nimitz participated in NATO exercise Dragon Hammer, which "enhanced the combat effectiveness, readiness, coordination and interoperability of allied sea, amphibious and air forces."
May 20, USS Nimitz anchored in Augusta Bay, Sicily, to conduct turnover with USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). After a port visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, CVN 68 rounded the Cape Horn on June 18. The carrier arrived in Puget Sound, Wash., anchoring overnight outside of Rich Passage July 1 before mooring at Pier B, Naval Station Bremerton on July 2, to complete its homeport shift.
August 28, Capt. Brent M. Bennitt relieved Capt. Eugene D. Conner as commanding officer of the Nimitz.
February 8, 1988 USS Nimitz completed the five-and-a-half month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) at PSNS.
From March 6-7, the Nimitz participated in exercise CNO Project 0779 Support on Nanoose Range, British Columbia, Canada, the first U.S. aircraft carrier to use the range in 22 years.
September 2, USS Nimitz departed Bremerton, Wash., for its eight major deployment.
From Sept. 13 through Oct. 2, CVN 68 operated off the South Korean coast to provide security for the Olympic Games in Seoul.
On October 29, USS Nimitz began operating in the North Arabian Sea where it participated in Operation "Earnest Will." This operation called for U.S. Navy ships to protect shipping lanes and escort U.S. registered (re-flagged) Kuwaiti tankers.
November 30, A 20 mm gun mounted on an A-7E fired during a "troubleshooting" maintenance check, and hit a KA-6D tanker, setting it afire, while the ship steamed in the northern Arabian Sea, at about 0250. AMH2 Douglas S. Dimberg died, and AA Chadwick R. Henderson received injuries. The fire damaged five Corsair IIs, an Intruder, and a Viking, and the crew jettisoned the KA-6D off the flight deck as "unsalvageable."
From Dec. 12-15, USS Nimitz, USS Waddell (DDG 24) and USS Barbey (FF 1088) conducted a PASSEX with the Omanis. The exercise included air to air refueling, ship tactical maneuvering, anti-air warfare, "splash" target bombing, gunnery, and a War at Sea scenario, near Wudam Naval Base, Oman.
From Dec. 19-21, the carrier participated in Beacon Flash and Al Barq Al Lama’a 39, a pair of exercises with the Omanis, which included dissimilar air combat training against Omani Hawker Siddeley Hunters and Sepecat Jaguars, and low level passes, electronic warfare and opposed strikes in the vicinity of Thumrait Airfield, Oman.
December 31, USS Nimitz anchored off the coast of Singapore for a six-day port visit, the first after 71 days at sea.
On January 17, 1989, the Nimitz conducted turnover with USS Constellation (CV 64) and returned to Bremerton March 2.
Fron June 15 through July 1, CVN 68 participated in joint exercise NORPAC 89-1 with the USAF in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska.
August 19, USS Nimitz entered the Dry Dock 6 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for an Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA).
September 16, Capt. Robert C. Williamson relieved Capt. Brent M. Bennitt as CO of the Nimitz.
March 3, 1990 The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier departed dry dock and moved to Pier 3.
May 11, USS Nimitz departed Bremerton for a week-long sea trials. On June 2, the ship pulled into Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif., for a two-day port call.
July 2, While mooring to the Ammunition Pier at Naval Weapons Station Indian Island, Wash., No. 2 main engine surged aft, causing "tight line" conditions on lines 4, 7, 8 and 10. The crew responded to the dangerous situation and saved the ship from damage. BM3 McCallister, however, suffered a broken arm during the mishap and had to be evacuated to the Naval Hospital at Bremerton.
February 25, 1991 USS Nimitz departed Naval Station Bremerton for a scheduled three weeks of training, off the coast of southern California. The carrier pulled into Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, on Feb. 28.
March 5, Due to Gulf War I, however, the Nimitz received orders to deploy early and came about for the western Pacific. The E-2C+ made its maiden deployment during this cruise. Foul weather pounded the ship during the first few days, causing "pitching deck conditions" that rendered flight operations extremely hazardous.
April 4, USS Nimitz anchored off the coast of Singapore for a four-day port call.
April 18, USS Nimitz entered the Arabian Gulf after transiting Strait of Hormuz and relieved USS Ranger (CV 61) on 19th. On the next day she commenced flight operations in support of Desert Storm and Desert Sabre.
April 27, The Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 sent a detachment of three Hornets, four officers and 26 enlisted sailors to Al Dhafra AB in the United Arab Emirates, where they participated in the air combat training exercise.
May 7, The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier anchored of the coast of Dubai for a brief port visit to United Arab Emirates. Another visit to Dubai from May 25-29.
June 7, AM3 Donald A. Ochab was recovered after fell overboard around 0400, while working on a Tomcat.
July 12, An F/A-18C, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, slammed into the ramp, around 2200, but miraculously caught the No. 3 arrester wire while in full afterburner. Lt. Michael M. Gautreaux ejected and landed on the flight deck with minor abrasions. The crew began applying foam to the fire within 23 seconds, though the crash destroyed the aircraft. ABH2 James A. Gilley courageously entered the Hornet’s cockpit and secured the engines, which remained in full afterburner.
August 24, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after a six-month deployment in the Arabian Gulf and western Pacific.
October 12, The Nimitz arrived in San Francisco, Calif., to participate in Fleet Week '91 celebration.
On Oct. 19, CVN 68 entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) for a seven-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).
February 1, 1993 USS Nimitz departed Bremerton for its tenth major deployment.
The Nimitz relieved USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) on March 18 and entered the Arabian Gulf on 21st to take its place as part of Operation Southern Watch.
April 10, The aircraft carrier pulled into Jebel Ali, U.A.E., for a four-day port call. Two more visits to Dubai; from May 8-12 and June 11-16.
August 19, USS Nimitz returned to Naval Station Bremerton, Wash., after six-and-a-half month underway period in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR).
Following Fleet Replenishment Squadron Carrier Qualifications (FRS-CQ), Nimitz departed NAS North Island on Dec. 7 to PSNS to prepare for drydocking. A fierce storm encountered en route, however, forced her to change course to outrun heavy seas.
January 29, 1994 CVN 68 entered the dry-dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., for an Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA).
August 26, Capt. Alfred G. Harms, Jr., relieved Capt. John B. Nathman as CO of the Nimitz.
January 20, 1995 Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel J. Avila was killed when air pressure blew a 100-pound steel cap off the equipment, while working on arresting gear machinery at about 10:30 p.m. Two other Petty Officers were injured.
January 28, USS Nimitz departed for a five-day sea trials after completing the 13-month EDSRA.
In September, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier participated in a Fleet Exercise (FLEETEX) 95-2A and from Sept. 25- Oct. 6, in Joint Tactical Fleet Exercise (JTFEX) off the coast of southern California.
November 27, USS Nimitz departed for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific and Arabian Gulf.
From January 13-17, 1996, the Nimitz participated in exercise Inspired Alert with the Pakistanis.
January 19, CVN 68 transited Strait of Hormuz and commenced flight operations in support of OSW, on station in the Arabian Gulf.
February 22, An F-14A, assigned to the Fighter Squadron (VF) 24, crashed in the Gulf during a "maintenance profile." Lt. Cmdr. Roger A. Pyle and Lt. Thomas A. Eberhard ejected safely.
March 2?, USS Nimitz arrived in the waters off Taiwan, to relieve USS Independence (CV 62), where once again the presence of carrier forces at sea positively influenced events ashore, calming a volatile standoff between mainland China and Taiwan. The carrier proceeded to the South China Sea via the Luzon Strait on April 14 and returned home on May 20.
November 6, Capt. Isaac E. Richardson, III relieved Capt. Alfred G. Harms, Jr., as commanding officer of USS Nimitz.
January 22, 1997 The Nimitz departed Bremerton to conduct sea trials and ammunition onload at Port Hadlock after a seven-month, $84 million worth, ESRA at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
USS Nimitz participated in a Fleet Exercise (FLEETEX) 97-2, from June 23- July 3, and Joint Tactical Fleet Exercise (JTFEX) 97-2, from July 14-27, off the coast of southern California.
September 1, USS Nimitz departed Bremerton for its twelveth major deployment and around-the-world cruise to the East Coast to begin a multi-year overhaul in the Newport News shipyard.
From Sept. 23-25, the Nimitz participated in exercise Valiant Blitz off Okinawa with the USS Independence.
October 13, CVN 68 entered the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch, completing a 6,000 mile voyage 12 days earlier than originally scheduled.
November 26, USS Nimitz pulled into Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for an eight-day visit to Dubai after participating in exercise Neon Falcon off the coast of Bahrain, Nov. 15-25. From Dec. 6-10, the ship participated in exercise Nautical Artist with the Saudis; and Eager Mace with the Kuwaitis from Dec. 13-24.
February 14, 1998 The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier entered the Mediterranean Sea after transiting Suez Canal.
From Feb. 23-25, the Nimitz conducted ammunition offload with USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and USS Detroit (AOE 4), 750 n.m. into the Atlantic.
March 1, USS Nimitz moored at Naval Station Norfolk's Pier 1 after a six-month Middle East deployment.
May 26, CVN 68 transited "deadstick" to Dry Dock 11 at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding, for a three-year Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH).
January 14, 1999 Seaman Brian E. Hubert died Thursday evening after falling more than 30 feet down a ventilation shaft near a berthing area.
November 6, The Nimitz moved from dry-dock to Outfitting Berth #1 at Newport News shipyard.
June 28, 2001 USS Nimitz returned to Naval Station Norfolk after a three-day sea trials, completing the 37-month RCOH.
From July 16-23, the carrier was underway to conduct precision approach and landing system and flight deck certifications.
September 21, The Nimitz departed Norfolk en route to San Diego, Calif.
November 3, USS Nimitz pulled into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a four-day port call.
November 13, CVN 68 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, after a nearly two-month transit around Cape Horn. During the transit, the ship trained with Brazilian, Uruguayan, Chilean and Peruvian naval forces.
May 14, 2002 The Nimitz completed a week-long sea trials after a four-month Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) while pierside at NAS North Island.
May 17, Capt. Robert J. Gilman relieved Capt. Steven F. Firks as CO of the CVN 68.
August 13, USS Nimitz departed San Diego for a Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) I.
In September, the aircraft carrier began TSTA II/III and also conducted exercises testing out its CEC system. This test of the CEC system was the first for the West Coast.
September 19, USS Nimitz anchored in Esquimalt Harbour for a three-day visit to Victoria, B.C., Canada. In mid-October the ship had left port for engineering work-ups.
December 9, The Nimitz departed San Diego for engineering trials and other training off the coast of southern California.
January 10, 2003 USS Nimitz Carrier Battle Group departed San Diego to begin a compressed three-week training exercise. The first two weeks will focus on a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), and the third will concentrate on a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX).
March 3, USS Nimitz CBG departed San Diego, Calif., for a surge Middle East deployment.
From March 30- April 6, two F/A-18E, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Hal Schmitt and Lt. Cmdr. Jason Norris of VFA-14, and two F/A-18Fs from VFA-41 flown by Lt. Cmdr. Brian Garrison and Lt. Comdr. Mark Weisgerber; and Lt. Tom Poulter and Lt. Tom Brodine, temporarily shifted from the Nimitz to Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to provide an improved mix of fighter/tanker capabilities. The transfer involved a 1,700 mile flight.
April 11, Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 launched its first combat sorties in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
May 12, The aircraft carrier departed Jebel Ali, U.A.E., after a five-day port visit to Dubai.
July 3, USS Nimitz pulled again into Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for a six-day port call.
July 27, An EA-6B, assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135, crashed in the Arabian Gulf at approximately 1100. Seahawks from HS-6 rescued all four aircrew.
Throughout much of August and into early September the Nimitz transited back and forth from the North Arabian Sea into the Persian Gulf. On or about Sept. 6 she began heading east, enterring the Indian Ocean on September 8.
September 12, USS Nimitz pulled into Changi Naval Base for a scheduled port visit to Singapore.
After conducting operations in the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea throughout the rest of September into October the Nimitz made one final port call at Singapore from October 8-13. On 14th she was in the South China Sea, and on 20th she enterred the Pacific Ocean.
October 27, USS Nimitz, along with USS Princeton (CG 59) and combat support ship USS Bridge, pulled into Pearl Harbor for a four-day port call to embark friends and family members for a Tiger Cruise.
November 5, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after an extended eight-month deployment. During the ship's underway period, aircraft from CVW-11 flew more than 6,500 missions and dropped over 125,000 pounds of ordnance in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition, this was the first deployment of the F/A-18F and E-2C Hawkeye 2000. CVN 68 is also the first aircraft carrier to deploy with two Super Hornet squadrons.
February 23, 2004 USS Nimitz officially kicked off its six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA). From air conditioning units and electronics, to berthing spaces and self-service laundry, the ship will receive many upgrades, improvements and repairs. Besides the quality of life improvements the carrier is scheduled to receive, it will also have an overhaul of some of its mission essential equipment and systems. One of the most complex tasks to be performed during Nimitz's PIA will be modifying the ship's 10 air conditioning plants to use environmentally friendly refrigerant. The replacement of catwalk grating, the rework of the catapults, the resurfacing of the flight deck and the replacement of service steam piping throughout the ship are also scheduled.
August 17, Vice Adm. James M. Zortman relieved Vice Adm. Michael D. Malone as Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Nimitz.
August 21, CVN 68 is currently conducting sea trials, off the coast of southern California, after completing a PIA period. On Aug. 26, the aircraft carrier conducted daytime flight operations for the first time since returning home from OIF.
November 20, USS Nimitz pulled back into Naval Air Station North Island after an arduous 23 days at sea completing Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) phases I, II and III, and Final Evaluation Period (FEP). It has taken only three months for carrier to become "emergency surge" deployable in accordance with the Navy’s Fleet Response Plan since returning to full operational status after a six-month pierside Planned Incremental Availability.
November 23, Capt. Ted N. Branch relieved Capt. Robert J. Gilman as commanding officer of USS Nimitz.
December 2, The aircraft carrier is currently underway for Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPUTEX) in the SOCAL Op. Area.
January 26, 2005 CVN 68 is currently underway for Operational Reactor Safeguard Examination (ORSE) off the coast of southern California.
March 25, USS Nimitz returned to San Diego after completing a two-week Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) in preparation for the upcoming deployment.
April 4, The Nimitz is currently underway for Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications (FRS-CQ).
May 7, USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment in the Central and western Pacific.
May 18, The aircraft carrier pulled into Naval Station Pearl Harbor for a routine port visit.
June 7, USS Nimitz departed Hong Kong after a four-day port call.
June 18, The Nimitz pulled into Apra Harbor, Guam, for a four-day port call.
July 4, USS Nimitz departed Port Klang, Malaysia, after a three-day port visit to Kuala Lumpur.
September 22, USS Nimitz and CVW-11 concluded nine weeks of supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Arabian Gulf, when the ship transited the Strait of Hormuz into the Indian Ocean. Aircrafts from CVW 11 launched more than 4,500 sorties totaling more than 11,000 flight hours since entering the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations. Of those, more than 1,100 sorties and 6,000 flight hours have been in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
September 28, Transiting the Indian Ocean, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group will participate in exercise Malabar 2005, with the Indian Navy, designed to increase interoperability between the two navies while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States.
October 7, USS Nimitz, along with USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10), anchored off the coast of Fremantle, Australia, for a five-day port visit to Perth.
October 30, CVN 68 pulled into Naval Station Pearl Harbor for a brief port visit and to pick up "Tigers."
November 8, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after a six-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AoR.
January 6, 2006 The aircraft carrier is currently preparing for Inspection and Survey (INSURV) off the coast of southern California.
February 1, CVN 68 is currently conducting Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications (FRS-CQ) off the West Coast.
February 8, The Nimitz is underway off the coast of southern California conducting Operational Reactor Safeguard Examination (ORSE).
February 11, USS Nimitz transfered the ammunition to USNS Bridge and USS John C. Stennis, February 10-11th. She is currently preparing for a major propulsion plant examination off the West Coast.
August 30, The aircraft carrier is currently underway conducting sea trials after successfully completing a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) period.
September 16, USS Nimitz departed San Diego with more than 3,200 guests, for a "Friends and Family Day Cruise."
October 3, The Navy paraded ships and aircraft through San Diego Bay Oct. 1 to kick-off San Diego's Fleet Week celebration. Nearly 100,000 San Diegans and visitors from neighboring towns watched ships, including USS Nimitz, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), USS Ogden (LPD 5) and USS Princeton (CG 59) sail through San Diego Bay. People also lined up for ship tours immediately following the procession.
October 9, Thousands of spectators gathered along the embarcadero and Marina Green Oct. 7 to view the annual parade of ships, kicking off San Francisco Fleet Week 2006. The flotilla of Navy vessels highlighting the event included USS Nimitz, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Princeton (CG 59), USS Chafee (DDG 90), USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53). U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) also participated in the procession.
November 2, CVN 68 passed another milestone on the way to deployment when the crew successfully completed Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) after more than 30 days at sea.
December 1, The San Diego-based aircraft carrier, along with Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW 11), is currently underway conducting Composite Training Unit Excercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of southern California.
January 12, 2007 USS Nimitz is currently underway conducting routine training exercises in the Pacific Ocean.
January 31, CVN 68 is currently underway conducting Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications (FRS-CQ) of the Californian coast. The ship returned to Naval Air Station North Island after a routine trainings on Feb. 15.
February 27, The Nimitz CSG is currently underway conducting Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) off the West Coast.
April 2, USS Nimitz departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.
May 8, The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to conduct maritime security operations (MSO) in regional waters, and provide air support to ground forces operating in Afghanistan and Iraq. Aircraft from CVW-11 began conducting missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) on 11th.
May 23, USS Nimitz and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) CSG-s and USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Expeditionary Strike Group entered the Arabian Gulf to conduct missions in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and perform Expeditionary Strike Force (ESF) training.
June 3, The Nimitz resume its support of Operation Iraqi Freedom following the ship's port visit to Manama, Bahrain, from May 28- June 2. CVW-11 has flown 788 sorties and more than 2,800 hours in direct support of OEF.
July 2, USS Nimitz, along with USS Pinckney (DDG 91), pulled into Chennai, India, for a scheduled port visit. Returned to Arabian Gulf on July 12.
August 1, Capt. Thomas Downing relieved Capt. David Woods as commanding officer of CVW-11 during an airborne change-of-command ceremony. The Nimitz is curently in the Pacific Ocean and is scheduled to participate in exercise Valiant Shield, off the coast of Guam, along with the Kitty Hawk and Stennis Carrier Strike Groups, from Aug. 7-14.
August 20, USS Nimitz anchored in Victoria Harbour for a four-day port call to Hong Kong.
September 5, After recently departed Singapore, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group joined more than twenty other ships from five countries, in the Bay of Bengal, to partcipate in exercise Malabar 2007, from Sept. 4-10. The exercise, stretching from India's eastern coast to the Andamans near Indonesia, will also include USS Kitty Hawk and India's lone aircraft carrier, the INS Viraat.
September 24, CVN 68 CSG departed Pearl Harbor after a two-day port visit. The USS Nimitz crew brought 1,295 special guests aboard for a Tiger Cruise back to San Diego.
September 30, USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group returned to San Diego after a six-month deployment. During that time, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing Eleven flew 8,240 hours in direct support of operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
December 5, The Nimitz is currently underway off the coast of southern California conducting sustainment training exercises.
January 24, 2008 USS Nimitz departed San Diego for a surge deployment under the Navy's Fleet Response Plan (FRP) and will operate in the western Pacific Ocean in support of U.S. commitments in the region while the forward-deployed USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) undergoes scheduled maintenance in Yokosuka, Japan.
February 9, Four F/A-18 fighter jets intercepted and escorted the Russian Tu-95 bomber as it flew at 2,000 feet above the Nimitz battle group. In total, four Tu-95's were involved. Two remained about 500 miles east of the U.S. ships, and another orbited about 50 miles away.
February 11, CVN 68 pulled into Sasebo, Japan, for a scheduled port visit.
February 28, The Nimitz arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea, to take part in Exercise Key Resolve/Foal Eagle 2008, an annual joint exercise involving forces from both the United States and Republic of Korea.
March 16, CO Michael C. Manazir completed his 1,000th career trap landing in a F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA-41 "Black Aces." USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) conducted an Expeditionary Strike Force (ESF) exercise with the USS Essex (LHD 2) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) from March 14-16.
March 29, The Nimitz and Kitty Hawk CSGs are currently conducting combined training exercises in the western Pacific Ocean.
April 6, The aircraft carrier departed Hong Kong after a three-day port call.
April 20, CVN 68 pulled into Apra Harbor, Guam, for a four-day port visit.
June 3, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after more than four-month underway period.
January 16, 2009 The Nimitz is currently conducting flight deck certification after completing a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA).
January 21, USS Nimitz departed San Diego for Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) Carrier Qualifications off the coast of southern California.
February 18, The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is currently off the West Coast conducting Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA).
March 24, CVN 68 is currently in the Pacific Ocean conducting FRS-CQ.
May 11, USS Nimitz is underway off the coast of southern California, for Composite Training Unit Excercise (COMPTUEX), in preparation for the upcoming deployment.
May 19, An HH-60H Seahawk, from Helicopter Anti Submarine Squadron (HS) 6, crashed at 11.36 p.m., about 15 miles south of Point Loma. Lt. Cmdr. Eric J. Purvis, Lt. Allison M. Oubre, Naval Air Crewman 1st Class Samuel “Grant” Kerslake, Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Aaron L. Clingman and Naval Air Crewman 3rd Class Sean M. Ward were killed. The helicopter had taken off from the Nimitz and was involved in search-and-rescue exercises when it crashed.
June 12, Vice Adm. Richard Hunt relieved Vice Adm. Samuel Locklear III, as the 3rd Fleet commander, during a change-of-command ceremony abord the Nimitz at Naval Air Station North Island.
July 31, USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group departed San Diego for a scheduled western Pacific deployment.
August 10, Capt. Bret C. Batchelder, Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, completed his 1,000th career trap landing in a F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the "Warhawks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97.
August 24, Capt. Paul O. Monger relieved Capt. Michael C. Manazir as CO of USS Nimitz during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at Fleet Activities Yokosuka (FAY). The aircraft carrier arrived in Japan today for a scheduled port visit.
September 8, The Nimitz arrived in Singapore for a goodwill port call.
September 18, Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 launched its first sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, after USS Nimitz CSG relieved USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) CSG on station in the North Arabian Sea.
October 7, A milestone is reached when an EA-6B Prowler, flown by "Black Ravens" XO, Cmdr. Vincent Johnson, became the 100,000th aircraft to launch off Catapult #1.
October 24, USS Nimitz pulled into Khalifa Bin Salman Port at Hidd for a port visit to Kingdom of Bahrain.
November 19, Two F/A-18E Super Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 and one E-2C Hawkeye from Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117 were flown from the Nimitz Nov. 14 to promote U.S. naval aviation at the 11th Dubai International Air Show, Nov. 15-19.
December 4, CVN 68 returned to the North Arabian Sea, to resume combat missions supporting OEF, following a port visit to Jebel Ali.
December 18, Cmdr. Max McCoy relieved Cmdr. Paul Spedero as CO of the "Sidewinders" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, during an aerial change-of-command ceremony.
January 25, 2010 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) CSG relieved the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group as Commander, Task Force 50. Since entering the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations, CVW 11 has flown more than 2,600 combat sorties and totaled 15,296 cumulative flight hours.
January 31, USS Nimitz anchored off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, for a four-day port visit.
February 7, CVN 68 pulled to Port Klang, Malaysia, for a goodwill port visit to Kuala Lumpur.
February 16, Deputy Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 Capt. Scott Conn reached a milestone by making his 1,000th carrier-arrested landing on board the Nimitz. He is the 325th Naval aviator to successfully complete 1,000 traps.
February 17, The Nimitz CSG arrived in Hong Kong for a scheduled port call.
March 6, Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier relieved Rear Adm. John W. Miller as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, during a change-of-command ceremony on board the USS Nimitz in the Philippine Sea.
March 21, CVN 68 arrived in Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to bring home members of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135 and to pick up 1200 "Tigers".
March 26, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after an extended eight-month deployment.
May 21, The Nimitz is currently undergoing a carrier incremental availability at Naval Air Station North Island in preparation for the ship's Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in October. INSURV is a major inspection mandated by Congress to assess a ship's material condition, its ability to operate its weapons, radar, engineering and navigation systems, maintain its berthing spaces, and function safely.
July 2, USS Nimitz returned to San Diego after a three-day sea trials completing the CIA.
July 12, The Nimitz departed for CQ, with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, off the coast of southern California.
August 5, CVN 68 is currently conducting a Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) with the CVW-11. The aircraft carrier returned to Naval Base Coronado August 20.
August 31, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after a four-day Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications (FRS-CQ).
September 2, The Nimitz departed San Diego for "blue water" operations with the CVW-11.
September 16, USS Nimitz transferred more than 1,200 tons of ordnance to the USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8), Sept. 14-15, during an ammunition offload in preparation for the ship's upcoming docking planned incremental availability (DPIA). The aircraft carrier returned to homeport Sept. 20.
October 5, CVN 68 returned to Naval Air Station North Island after a two-day demonstrations underway period for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).
October 22, USS Nimitz departed for Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications off the coast of southern California. The aircraft carrier returned to San Diego Oct. 28.
November 8, The Nimitz returned to homeport after a six days of routine training and CQ with the Training Air Wing One (TRAWING-1) and TRAWING-2.
December 6, USS Nimitz departed San Diego for a 12-month Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Wash.
December 9, Just hours after the Nimitz arrived in Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, the Navy announced that the "administrative" move from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., will become a permanent homeport change but to Naval Station Everett, Wash., when the aircraft carrier completes a year-long maintenance. USS Nimitz will replace USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) which is scheduled to leave Washington in early fiscal 2012 for a homeport change to Norfolk, Va., for a four-year RCOH.
December 16, CVN 68 completed its move from Naval Base Kitsap to its dry-dock at the PSNS&IMF, an evolution that took more than seven hours to complete. During DPIA, the Nimitz will receive major upgrades to its combat, self-defense, navigation and potable water systems and numerous other components.
July 7, 2011 PSNS&IMF reached a milestone in the USS Nimitz's ongoing maintenance availability with the installation of two new sponsons, structures that project from the aircraft carrier to support a weapon system or antenna array.
September 29, USS Nimitz moved from dry-dock 6 to Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton's Pier Delta.
March 5, 2012 The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier departed Bremerton for sea trials after wrapping up the 15-month, $239 million worth, DPIA. Departure was delayed two months because more maintenance work was identified.
March 9, USS Nimitz arrived at its new homeport of Naval Station Everett, Wash.
March 29, Capt. Jeffrey S. Ruth relieved Capt. Paul O. Monger as CO of the CVN 68 during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship.
April 19, USS Nimitz pulled into Naval Air Station North Island for an extended port call.
May 7, USS Nimitz departed San Diego for a four-day underway period to conduct ammunition onload with USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) and Carrier Qualifications (CQ) with the elements of CVW-11 and CVW-14; Returned to Everett on May 16.
May 27, The Nimitz anchored in San Francisco Bay for a brief port visit, after a three-day "Tiger Cruise" from Naval Station Everett, to participate in the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Returned home on June 1; Underway again from June 4-5.
June 11, USS Nimitz departed Naval Station Everett to participate in annual multi-national exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), in and around the Hawaiian Islands, from June 29 through Aug. 3.
June 15, CVN 68 departed Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, after embarking members of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.
June 18, Capt. Gregory N. Harris, Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, completed his 1,000th arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier with the trap of an F/A-18F assigned to the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154.
July 2, The Nimitz pulled into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a four-day port call before participating in at-sea phase of RIMPAC.
July 17, USS Nimitz took on more than 180,000 gallons of alternative fuel, a 50/50 blend of advanced biofuel (HRJ-5) and traditional petroleum-based fuel (JP-5), from USNS Henry J. Keiser (T-AO 187) in preparation for the Navy's Great Green Fleet demonstration.
August 3, The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier departed Pearl Harbor after a two-day port call. Arrived at NAS North Island on Aug. 9; Underway for FRS Carrier Qualifications on Aug. 10.
August 15, The flight deck of USS Nimitz tallied it's 300,000th arrested landing with the trap of an E/A-18G Growler, assigned to the "Vikings" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129; Piloted by Lt. Sergio Armas and Lt. Cmdr. Dan Boyer.
August 20, USS Nimitz returned to homeport after a 70-day underway period.
September 29, CVN 68 departed Naval Station Everett for a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX).
October 4, Vice Adm. David H. Buss relieved Vice Adm. Allen G. Myers, IV as Commander, Naval Air Forces during a change-of-command ceremony on board the Nimitz at Naval Air Station North Island.
October 6, An MV-22 Osprey, assigned to the "White Knights" of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165, landed for the first time on board the USS Nimitz, while the carrier was underway in the SOCAL Op. Area.
October 13, The Nimitz departed NAS North Island after a three-day port call to San Diego for Force Protection Exercise (FPX). Commenced COMPTUEX on Oct. 17.
November 6, An F/A-18E, assigned to the "Argonauts" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, emergency landed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, north of San Diego, Calif., after it was unable to land at Naval Air Station North Island due to poor weather in Coronado on Tuesday night.
November 13, USS Nimitz pulled into Naval Air Station North Island to disembark the elements of CVW 11. Returned home on Nov. 19.
November 21, U.S. Navy delayed the scheduled Nimitz's January deployment for at least two-month for emergent repairs to its cooling pumps. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) will return home in December, three months earlier than originally planned, to resurface its flight deck before departing again for Middle East in February 2013.
February 11, 2013 Rear Adm. Michael S. White relieved Rear Adm. Peter A. Gumataotao as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Nimitz.
March 30, USS Nimitz departed Everett for a western Pacific and Middle East deployment, nearly three months later than scheduled.
April 2, CVN 68 moored at NAS North Island for a brief port call to embark members of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11. The Nimitz will first participate in a Sustainment Exercise (SUSTAINEX), off the coast of southern California, before heading west; Inport San Diego again from April 18-19.
May 11, The Nimitz moored at Busan Naval Base for a two-day port call before participating in a joint exercise with the Republic of Korea Navy.
May 28, USS Nimitz anchored in Makham Bay, Thailand, for a four-day port visit to Phuket. Arrived in the Central Command AoO on June 9.
June 13, Aircraft from CVW-11 launched its first combat sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
June 14, Cmdr. Carlos A. Medina relieved Cmdr. Edwin S. Grohe as CO of the "Gray Wolves" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Nimitz in the North Arabian Sea.
July 4, Cmdr. John W. DePree relieved Cmdr. James L. Christie as CO of the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, during an aerial change-of-command ceremony in the Arabian Gulf.
July 5, USS Nimitz pulled into Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for a four-day liberty visit to Dubai.
July 14, Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Tuttle, attached to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (MVFA) 323, died at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany after being medically evacuated from the Nimitz while the carrier was inport Jebel Ali.
August 9, CVN 68 moored at Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP) in Hidd, Bahrain, for a four-day port call.
August 13, Cmdr. Thomas F. Foster relieved Cmdr. Peter M. Collins as CO of the "Wolf Pack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, during an aerial change-of-command ceremony in the Arabian Gulf.
August 28, Capt. Robert R. Osterhoudt, Deputy Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, and Cmdr. Robert E. Loughran, Jr., the CO of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed their 1,000th arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier, while the Nimitz was underway in the Arabian Sea.
September 2, USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 transited Bab el-Mandeb Strait northbound.
September 22, An MH-60S Knighthawk, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, crashed in the central Red Sea while conducting a landing on the deck of the USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), at approximately 12:40 p.m. Bahrain time. Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones and CWO3 Jonathon S. Gibson were lost at sea.
October 20, The Nimitz, escorted by USS Monterey (CG 61), entered the Mediterranean Sea, after transiting Suez Canal for the first time in more than 15-years; Participated in an air defense exercise (ADEX) with the FS Chevalier Paul (D621) on Oct. 22.
October 30, USS Nimitz anchored off the coast of Naples, Italy, for a five-day port visit. Transited Strait of Messina on Nov. 5; Transited Suez Canal southbound on Nov. 8.
November 22, Four E-2C Hawkeyes, previously assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115 and deployed with the USS George Washington (CVN 73), landed aboard the Nimitz as part of an aircraft transfer between the "Liberty Bells" and "Wallbangers" of VAW-117.
December 3, CVN 68 pulled into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a three-day port call to embark friends and family members for a Tiger Cruise.