I LIVE IN THE HAMPTON ROADS AREA OF VIRGINIA, WHICH IS A HEAVILY POPULATED MILITARY AREA AND ALSO SERVES AS A HOME BASE FOR MANY OF OUR NATION'S AIRCRAFT CARRIERS.
Last night I was driving over one of the local bridges as I noticed two aircraft carriers in the harbor and it made my mind begin to wander, "What is it like to live on a city at sea?" At first, my thought was that it had to be thrilling, amazing, what seamen always have dreamed of. And honestly, that is what I believed all night and contemplated in anticipation of this blog post.
The amazing life onboard an aircraft carriers, that was my original title. But after doing my due diligence, I have learned that yes it is an amazing and a spectacular experience, but it is far more hard than it is enjoyable.
So without further adieu...
TRUTH BEHIND LIVING ON AN AIRCRAFT CARRIERS
- There are between 5,000 and 6,000 people living in tight quarters onboard these cities at sea, so if you do not like people, I suggest choosing a different career path.
- Unless you work on the flight deck, hangar or fantail, you could go weeks without seeing daylight. The main deck is a dangerous place and only has room for the designated people who have a purpose up there. So simply put, if you do not belong up there you are not wanted.
- Claustrophobics need not apply. Life onboard an aircraft carriers is more cramped than Time Square on New Year's Eve! If you do not mind squeezing past your co-workers in narrow corridors, constantly climbing stairs, and sharing one large "bedroom" with 60 other people then aircraft carrier life is for you.
- When you do get to go on deck you will probably be doing exercises where you get pepper sprayed in the face and then made to defend yourself against an enemy.
- Life onboard aircraft carriers is not for the faint of heart nor weak. Only the strongest of the strong will be able to call these $6.5 Billion dollar supercarriers home.
- If you enjoy a quiet life....bring ear plugs. No matter where you go on the ship you are going to constantly be plagued with the noise of jets taking off and landing.
- Efficiency and attention to detail need to posses your soul. If you are ok with real pressures from a job and are good at constantly being on point - you have found your home.
DID YOU KNOW???
USS George H.W. Bush is the tenth of the line of Nimitz-class supercarriers, which means it's also one of the largest warships in the entire world at approximately 1,092 feet long with a displacement of nearly 100,000 tons. Despite the size, its two nuclear reactors can push the carrier to nearly 35 mph (30+ knots) while carrying more than 5,500 sailors and pilots and numerous aircraft on its 4.5-acre flight deck.