The USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77), the newest of the U.S. Navy fleet’s operational carriers, launched and recovered Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II aircraft for the first time Dec. 12.
According to a recent Navy news release, the F-35C carrier variant is the future of weapon system integration and lethality that provides multimission power projection from the sea.
“I am proud of the work our team is doing each day to operate at sea and to increasethe warfighting capability and capacity of Naval aviation,” said Capt. Robert Aguilar, commanding officer, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). “While we relentlessly prepare to deploy and carry out the nation’s business, we are also maintaining an open deck to support Fleet-wide training and qualifications. We know our mission, and we will complete it.”
The launch and recovery of F-35Cs from supercarrier also have special significance for the ship. The ship’s seal features the silhouette three aircraft; a P-3 Avenger aircraft, the plane president George H.W. Bush piloted in World War II, the silhouette of an F/A-18, and an F-35C. At the ship’s commissioning in 2009, this represented the past, present, and future of Naval Aviation. This week, that idea of the future of Naval air warfare became reality with more than a hundred launch and recoveries of the Lightning II. This notable milestone comes as the Navy approaches its centennial of Navy Aircraft Carriers in 2022.
USS George H.W. Bush is the tenth and final Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy.
USS George H. W. Bush supercarrier provides the national command authority flexible, tailorable warfighting capability as the flagship of a carrier strike group that maintains maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.