U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Jonathan Chandler via Wikimedia Commons

While it may not be rare to see two U.S. supercarriers side by side in port, it is rare to see them fully loaded with combat aircraft. Usually, in peacetime, the carrier’s aircraft will disperse and fly off to bases on land while the ship is in port.

But thanks to some photos posted online, we can see two of America’s most powerful warships, fully loaded, docked at Naval Air Station North Island, just across the bay from downtown San Diego.

The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) can be seen together in these photos below.

 

As The Drive notes:

… the USS Carl Vinson is set to deploy at any time. It has been executing advanced drills for some time now, including being dispatched to Hawaii for training, but also to deter Russia’s own naval task force that came within a very short distance of the island state’s shores. CVN-70’s deployment will mark a number of firsts, including the first deployment of a Navy F-35C squadron and of the CMV-22 Osprey carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft.

Meanwhile:

The USS Abraham Lincoln also totes an F-35C squadron, but in its case, it is a Marine unit (VMFA-314, the Black Knights). The carrier returned home from a grueling deployment in the winter of 2020 before going through an extensive maintenance period at North Island. It appears to be preparing for another deployment which could occur very soon, or at least it will be available to do so.

There have been some highly interesting movements of American airpower in the Pacific as of late, as well as some puzzling strategic signaling with America’s undersea arsenal. This may be part of that, but it would come as a byproduct of the reality that two Pacific-based carriers could deploy immanently [sic], at least if need be.

It’s also worth noting that there is no American carrier strike group operating in the entire Indo-Pacific theater at this time, either, although that could and probably will change very soon.

As ADN recently reported, the HMS Queen Elizabeth (Big Lizzy) is in the region and the majority of the F-35Bs aboard her are from the U.S. Marine Corps. Big Lizzy also has a U.S. Navy Destroyer, and Royal Dutch Navy frigate as escorts.

It is possible that either the Carl Vinson or Lincoln will depart shortly to the Western Pacific to join the British flagship during this phase of her inaugural deployment.


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Can view both from USS Midway carrier museum X the bay

David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago

My wife and I took a San Diego Harbor tour aboard an excursion boat. We passed by the U.S.S Midway, but I wasn’t aware it was a museum. I was lucky enough to be invited on a day cruise aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln out to the Farallon Islands, and watched from the deck as aircraft were being launched and recovered. That was impressive!

David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago

As long as those planes aren’t B-25s, I think you’re describing the 7th Fleet.

MICK wISEMAN
MICK wISEMAN
1 month ago

Wonder where these two Carriers might be headed–could it be the South China Sea. Maybe to join an English Aircraft Carrier already cruising there.

David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago
Reply to  MICK wISEMAN

They have regular “West Pac” deployments and other Pacific/Atlantic ‘stereo’ cruises. We used to host them (7th Fleet) on Guam. You talk about packed bars and massage parlors!

David Baker
David Baker
1 month ago
Reply to  MICK wISEMAN

Here’s a carrier joke: New sailors aren’t quite accustomed to ciphering the announcements coming over the ship’s PA system. To help the nuggets and green horns out, the old hands tell them what’s being said:

“BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BEER.”

“BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH CHOW.”

“BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH LIBERTY”…..