An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


USS Nimitz Records 350,000th Arrested Landing

24 April 2023

From USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Public Affairs

SOUTH CHINA SEA - USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the oldest-serving U.S commissioned aircraft carrier in the world, successfully completed its 350,000th arrested aircraft landing recently while sailing in the South China Sea, a milestone nearly 48 years in the making.

230422-N-XK462-1297 SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 22, 2023) U.S. Navy Capt. Craig Sicola, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), front seat, and Cmdr. Luke Edwards, commanding officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, make an arrested landing in an F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-22 marking the 350,000th time the carrier has landed a fixed-wing aircraft on its flight deck. Nimitz is in U.S. 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
230422-N-XK462-1297 SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 22, 2023) U.S. Navy Capt. Craig Sicola, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), front seat, and Cmdr. Luke Edwards, commanding officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, make an arrested landing in an F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-22 marking the 350,000th time the carrier has landed a fixed-wing aircraft on its flight deck. Nimitz is in U.S. 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
230422-N-XK462-1297 SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 22, 2023) U.S. Navy Capt. Craig Sicola, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), front seat, and Cmdr. Luke Edwards, commanding officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, make an arrested landing in an F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-22 marking the 350,000th time the carrier has landed a fixed-wing aircraft on its flight deck. Nimitz is in U.S. 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
U.S. Navy Capt. Craig Sicola, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), front seat, and Cmdr. Luke Edwards, commanding officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, make an arrested landing in an F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-22 marking the 350,000th time the carrier has landed a fixed-wing aircraft on its flight deck.
230422-N-XK462-1297 SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 22, 2023) U.S. Navy Capt. Craig Sicola, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), front seat, and Cmdr. Luke Edwards, commanding officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, make an arrested landing in an F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-22 marking the 350,000th time the carrier has landed a fixed-wing aircraft on its flight deck. Nimitz is in U.S. 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Photo By: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hannah Kantner
VIRIN: 230422-N-XK462-9999


Capt. Craig Sicola, commanding officer of Nimitz, and Cmdr. Luke Edwards, commanding officer of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, piloted the landing in an F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-22 on the morning of April 22.

Nimitz is the first active U.S. Navy carrier in the fleet to reach this milestone. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) has the next highest total of arrested landings at 326,600.

“I am honored and humbled to land this historic milestone for our ship. I dedicate this landing to the countless naval aviators who have flown before me, and it is a privilege to further the proud tradition of service that this distinguished aircraft carrier embodies,” Sicola said. “To the shipyard maintenance teams who put in countless hours to prepare this warship for sea, to the thousands of dedicated Sailors on board who sacrifice for their country, and to the families back home who support us along the way—‘teamwork is a tradition’ on Nimitz and we could not have accomplished this mission without the steadfast commitment to this historic ship.”

As first in its class, Nimitz is the namesake for all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet. Over the decades, tens of thousands of Sailors have embarked on Nimitz to fulfill missions around the globe. Since commissioning nearly 50 years ago, Nimitz has sailed 30 deployments and served in countless operations and missions.

Nimitz serves as the flagship of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (NIMCSG). The NIMCSG is currently in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii after conducting a regularly-scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

“As we sail through the South China Sea, we celebrate this once in a lifetime achievement, 350,000 arrested landings, over a hundred years of innovation in the U.S. aircraft carrier, and the determination, sacrifice and winning spirit of all past and present naval aviators and our Sailors” said Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, commander, Carrier Strike Group 11. “This landmark is a testament to the nation’s commitment to fly, sail and operate around the globe promoting peace and security just as ‘Old Salt-the Nimitz’ has done for the past 48 years.”

The 350,000th trap represents a significant moment in the history of the ship. Nimitz’s first arrested landing was conducted in 1975, the same year of the ship’s commissioning. Capt. Bryan Compton, Nimitz’s first commanding officer, made history by completing the first landing.

Although the ship has sailed in several oceans and has homeported in multiple locations, the constant throughout the decades has been the tenacity of the ship’s crew day in and day out—without which not a single landing could have been possible.

“Although aircraft are critical to our mission, the aviators and maintainers that fly and operate our aircraft are truly the reason for our success,” said Capt. Christopher Hurst, commander, Carrier Air Wing 17. “This milestone showcases our Sailors’ precision and operational excellence to execute hundreds of thousands of landings on Nimitz.”

Nimitz’s aircraft launch and recovery equipment (ALRE) division is responsible for operating and maintaining the ship’s catapults and arresting gear.

“We have been looking forward to achieving this milestone for a long time,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Robert Reed, leading chief petty officer of ALRE division. “The Sailors made all of this possible by manning our equipment and ensuring the proper execution of our mission. Their dedication and determination is inspiring, and I am proud to be a part of team Nimitz. This landing could not have been done without their commitment to the ship.”

Before celebrating the historic 350,000th arrested landing aboard Nimitz, flight deck personnel quickly got back to work. Sailors reset the arresting cable, taxied aircraft out of the landing area and reset the deck—there were still more aircraft to land.
From USS Nimitz (CVN 68) public affairs. 
Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon