If you were in Pearl Harbor on December 2nd you might have been lucky enough to see a US Naval tradition that is very moving and spectacular.

The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) rendered honors to the USS Arizona during its arrival to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The ship steamed to Hawaii to participate in National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day events.

Dec. 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu, which precipitated the United States’ entry into World War II. (U.S. Navy video/Released)

History of the USS John C. Stennis

Named after Senator John Cornelius Stennis (1901 – 1995), the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) keel was laid at Newport News, Virginia on 13 March 1991 and the ship was commissioned on December 9th, 1995. Senator Stennis served more than 40 years in the US Senate and was known for his steadfast belief in US military superiority. Acclaimed as the “Father of America’s modern Navy”, he is the only senator to have a nuclear aircraft carrier named after them.

Stennis Salute Photo Courtesy of US Navy

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has two nuclear reactors allowing it to reach speeds greater than 30 knots and to travel more than one million miles before refueling. Capable of housing more than 6,000 people the Stennis can serve more than 18,000 meals per day.

The ship carries two 30 ton anchors, has a flight deck of approximately 4.5 acres and can accommodate 70 aircraft from seven fixed wing squadrons and one helicopter squadron.

Some Interesting Facts About Aircraft Carriers

The ship is so big it actually has its own zip code! In addition to a post office you will also find aboard ship a hospital, dental clinic, barbershop, chapel and many different types of athletic facilities.

A modern US Navy aircraft carrier usually has 18 levels.

The carrier is the flagship of the carrier battle group (CVBG) which consists of a large number of escort and support ships in addition to the carrier. The Japanese may have been the first navy to understand and fully utilize the power of a carrier battle group when it attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.

On the bridge, the ship’s Captain monitors overall operations while the ‘air boss’ controls aircraft. From the Primary Flight Control (Pri-Fly) area in the ship’s bridge, the ‘air boss’ visually watches aircraft activity on the deck and in the air within a five mile radius.

Watch below from Stennis Primary Flight Control

Picture of the Day: Christmas Eve Snow on the Flight Deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS John C. Stennis CVN 74

Read Next: Picture of the Day: Christmas Eve Snow on the Flight Deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS John C. Stennis CVN 74

Nimitz-class carriers are named after Admiral Chester W. Nimitz who lead the US Navy in the Pacific theater in World War II. There are nine Nimitz-class carriers.

The successor of the Nimitz-class is the Ford-class supercarriers. In November 2013 the US Navy launched the USS Gerald R. Ford which utilizes the latest in modern technology. It is expected to be commissioned in 2017.

Featured Image Courtesy of the US Navy