To Do: Visit an Aircraft Carrier
Tomorrow, I’ll be participating in a “Distinguished Visitor” embark to the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that’s on its way to a deployment in the Western Pacific. I’m thrilled to be a part of a group of bloggers, journalists, and local business people. I’m also terrified.
Just as the local tourism industry is using the “So Much More Hawaii” tour to show off the islands via new voices, the U.S. Navy uses these visitations to help civilians understand and appreciate its huge and complex operations. Just last week, a similar tour was conducted aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz, and participants included Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble, and Charlene Li. In fact, Guy Kawasaki’s epic blog post about his experience is simultaneously the reason why I’m excited about this trip, and scared out of my wits.
Not five minutes ago, I got this in a Direct Message on Twitter: “If you are flying out to the Reagan you will be taking the COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery), a Grumman C-2 Greyhound. Don’t puke. Have fun!!!” And apparently, the departure is even more thrilling than the arrival.
Still, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (and my life insurance policy is current), so I’m honestly looking forward to getting an up close and personal look at the lives and work of people that many civilians never get to see, but that benefit and protect us all. I gather there will be restrictions on what gadgetry you can bring and when you can use it, but I’ll do my darned to document and share as much of my day aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan as I can.
There are about a dozen others included in the “Distinguished Visitors” group, including the unstoppable and unparalleled L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine, who was the very first person I thought of when they asked if I could think of another great local, new media savvy ambassador. (The great Vernon Brown was unable to join us… but as a member of the armed services, he already knows the inside story.) It looks like there will also be representatives from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, The Nature Conservancy, Hoku Scientific, Better Place, Hawaii Business Magazine, Hilton, even Crazy Shirts.
It’s a great mixed group, and I’m honored to be a part of it.
About the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan
The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan a Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier, and it is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 7, which has begun a a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment. Based out of San Diego, this will be the Ronald Reagan’s fourth deployment. It recently received its second Battle “E” award for being the most combat-efficient carrier in the Pacific Fleet. It’s Carrier Air Wing also received the “Ramage” award for most efficient carrier air-wing team in the entire Navy.
During its last deployment, the Ronald Reagan CSG performed a humanitarian assistance mission, supporting the armed forces of the Philippines, delivering more than 519,000 pounds of fresh water, rice and medical supplies to people affected by Typhoon Fengshen. Additionally, its Carrier Air Wing flew more than 1,150 combat sorties in support of coalition troops in Afghanistan.