The USS Nimitz this year traveled more than 80,000 miles over nearly nine months on its latest deployment. The distance is more than three times the circumference of the Earth at the equator.
While deployed, it supported war efforts in Afghanistan, conducted exercises with U.S. and foreign navies, visited six foreign ports and waited to see whether its planes would be used in combat during the chemical weapons crisis in Syria. Here’s some of what the aircraft carrier and its 3,000 Everett sailors did:
March 30: USS Nimitz left Naval Station Everett for a western Pacific and Middle East deployment nearly three months later than scheduled due to a needed repair.
April 30: Tied up at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego to take on the crew of Carrier Air Wing 11 and participated in a qualification exercise in southern California waters.
May 11: Visited Busan Naval Base for a two-day port call before conducting a joint exercise with the Republic of Korea navy.
May 28: Anchored in Makham Bay, Thailand, for a four-day port visit in Phuket.
June 13: Launched its first combat flights in support of the Afghanistan war, Operation Enduring Freedom.
July 5: Pulled into Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, for a four-day port call in Dubai.
Aug. 9: Tied up at Khalifa Bin Salman Port in Bahrain for four-day port call.
Sept. 2: The Nimitz and its support ships entered Bab-el-Mandeb Strait northbound heading into the Red Sea.
Sept. 22: An MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 crashed in the central Red Sea while landing on the deck of a destroyer. Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones and Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan S. Gibson were lost at sea.
Oct. 20: Entered the Mediterranean Sea along with the cruiser USS Monterey. It was the first time in 15 years the Nimitz had passed through the Suez Canal.
Oct. 30: Anchored off the coast of Naples, Italy, for a five-day port visit.
Nov. 8: Passed through the Suez Canal southbound.
Dec. 3: Pulled in to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a three-day port call and to take on friends and family members for a “tiger cruise” to the United States.
Dec. 12: Arrived in San Diego for air wing personnel and some civilians to leave the ship.
Dec. 16: Returned to Naval Station Everett.