Aircraft Carriers

SANTA CLAUS ASSISTS FLIGHT OPERATIONS ON BOARD USS GEORGE WASHINGTON AIRCRAFT CARRIER

Sailor dressed as Santa Claus directs aircraft movement during flight operations aboard U.S. Navy flattops

Taken on Dec. 10, 2016 the pictures in this article show Santa Claus giving the signal to launch a T-45C Goshawk from Training Air Wing Two (TRAWING) 2 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).

George Washington, homeported in Norfolk, is underway conducting carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean.

Actually, this is not the first time that a catapult officer dresses up as Santa Claus to assist flight operations on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier: in fact each year during Christmas season a sailor dressed as Santa Claus is tasked to direct aircraft movement during flight operations aboard U.S. Navy flattops.

USS George Washington (CVN 73) is the sixth Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and is named in honor of the first president of the United States.

Aircraft carriers are the centerpiece of America’s Naval forces. On any given day, aircraft carriers exercise the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Navigation Directions of Warfighting First, Being Ready and Operating Forward.

The largest warships in the world, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers support and operate aircraft that engage in attacks on airborne, afloat, and ashore targets that threaten free use of the sea and engage in sustained power projection operations in support of U.S. and coalition forces.

The aircraft carrier and its strike group also engage in maritime security operations to interdict threats to merchant shipping and prevent the use of the seas for terrorism and piracy. Aircraft carriers also provide unique capabilities for disaster response and humanitarian assistance.

Photo credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Wyatt L. Anthony / U.S. Navy

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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