Right on time for Americans’ Independence Day, 4 July, their ship finally came in. After a deployment two months longer than planned, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower has arrived back in its east coast home port, Norfolk, Virginia. The families of more than 5,000 sailors had been waiting, some coming from as far away as the western state of Arizona.
Apart from a welcome holiday and flight deck resurfacing in December, the ‘Ike’ was at sea for nearly 11 months. Its relief, the carrier Nimitz, was sidelined for repairs. During their time at sea, some crewmen became parents. [For arithmetic challenges, apply the proverbial ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.]
The ship launched in 1975, whose duties have taken it to theatres of tension involving Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Iraq and the Caribbean, on its latest mission has been supporting coalition forces in Afghanistan while in the Arabian Gulf.