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A Navy aircraft carrier doesn't just launch aircraft – it projects power. A carrier air wing can dominate large stretches of territory – on the ocean or to land – with their reach and technological sophistication. Aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever put to sea, and the Navy's carriers are considered to be the elite of the world. Typically traveling in battle groups, these vessels operate in international waters without needing permission for landing or overflight rights. Each carrier is sovereign U.S. territory – a floating city with a 24-hour airport and a population dedicated to protecting U.S. interests and keeping the peace.
On a carrier, you'll find a post office, a hospital, a dental clinic, barbershops, athletic facilities, chapels and more. Carriers have approximately 18 levels, including eight above hangar bay and ten decks below.
A carrier is the flagship of a battle group. The Admiral commands from the flag bridge, part of the “island” or superstructure above the flight deck. Using the most sophisticated reconnaissance aircraft and detection systems in the world, the Admiral and his staff can watch operations and conduct task group-level planning. On the bridge, the Captain monitors flights and oversees flight operations. There's another bridge for navigation and primary flight control with the "air boss," who controls aircraft both on the flight deck and in the air within five miles of the ship.
An aircraft carrier is a 24-hour/everyday ecosystem, constantly on guard and mission-ready for anything that unfolds.
Explore one of the most powerful and sophisticated fleets the world has ever known. From aircraft carriers to submarines. From the ocean to the shore.