A Carrier Named Stennis

That’s Stennis as in John C. of Mississippi. An Aircraft Carrier as in a really big ship that cost $4.5 Billion in 1995. John C. Stennis was a renowned segregationist who rose to power in the US Senate on the basis of seniority which means that he was very popular in Mississippi; US Senate from 1947-1989. Senator Stennis was always generous with northern states’ money when it came to the Defense Department Budgets. Never met an aircraft, tank, or ship that he wasn’t in favor of; sort of Mississippi’s entitle. So it isn’t surprising to learn that the Navy named a Carrier after him; excepting for the segregationist part, that is.

Modern US Navy Aircraft Carriers are huge and powerful. The Stennis is more than 1,000 feet long, displaces (weighs) more than 115,000 tons, and is very powerful. With 260,000 shaft horsepower she has a top speed around 40 knots; she can throw a rooster tail. Just guessing, I would say that each of her 4 screws is about 27 feet in diameter and that at full speed there is 2 and 1/2 turns torque in her number two shaft. US Navy Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carriers were once designated CVA(N)s. The A stood for Attack. Now CVNs without the A, attacks in faraway places is still what they are built for. They go all around the world, are known by their names, are seen by millions in faraway places.  At any given time, some 3,000 sailors have the Carrier’s name on a shoulder.

Mississippi is in the process of changing her state flag because of the old flag’s racial connotations. The US Navy needs to change the name of the USS John C. Stennis to something more in-tune with the 21st Century.