Life Aboard an Aircraft Carrier: "The Safest, Most Dangerous Place on Earth"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise returns from a six-month deployment February 29, 2004 at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia. (Getty)

Geoff Dyer describes living aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, navigating the routines and protocols of “carrier-world,” from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to the kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear. In Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, Dyer records the daily life on board the ship, revealing it to be a prism for understanding a society where discipline and conformity, dedication and optimism, become forms of self-expression. 


Geoff Dyer

Comments [7]

Steve from Manhattan

Regarding naming ships for poets. During WWII the navy did have a ship named for Edgar Allan Poe.
As to question raised by other commenters as to how vulnerable modern ships are to attack by jet planes and missiles, the Falkland Wars, the first in which ships faced attacks by these, demonstrated that they are very vulnerable.

Jun. 10 2014 01:26 PM
Ken from Bronx

They named the carrier after GHW Bush because he flew planes for the Navy.

There is a USS Jimmy Carter, it is a submarine. J Carter served on Subs when he was in the Navy.

I am told that the National Guard will soon commission the "GW Bush". It will be an automated typewriter that works without anyone there to operate it.

Jun. 10 2014 12:58 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Your guest does not know basic facts. The British DO have aircraft carriers now and are buidling new ones:

Queen elizabeth class aircraft carrier

"UK CVF Royal Navy aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, are expected to enter service in 2016 and 2018.

Billions have been ploughed by the US and UK governments to ensure that they continue their claim to possess the most advanced navies in the world.

CVF will displace 65,000 tons, a size between the USA's 100,000t Nimitz Class and the French 43,000t Charles de Gaulle Class aircraft carriers, and three times larger than the 20,000t UK Invincible Class carriers.

The carrier will have a maximum speed of 25kt. At 15kt the range is 10,000nm and the ship carries food, fuel and stores for an endurance of seven days between replenishments. Each ship will have a complement of typically 1,200, including 600 aircrew."

Jun. 10 2014 12:58 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Can our carriers survive Iranian or other anti-ship missiles? Or would they be sunk quickly in the event we go to war with Iran or China or whomever has such missiles?

Jun. 10 2014 12:50 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Another Brit who allegedly wants to be an American.

Anyhow, can you ask your guest what he knows about the vulnerability of our carriers to Iranian, Chinese or Russian anti-ship ballistic missiles. Can our carriers effectively protect themselves against a barrage of such anti-ship missiles.
Or was that topic not brought up?

Jun. 10 2014 12:48 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Two pre-airing questions...

1) The Air Force has 'pilots', the Navy has 'aviators'.

2) It used to be true that the expense of a new aircraft carrier is the same as the junior year tuition for EVERY AMERICAN IN COLLEGE. Is that still true? How can we justify building more of these ships while we let college costs eat up so much earning power?

Jun. 10 2014 12:42 PM
Jim B from Queens

"Life aboard an Aircraft Carrier" is the Laziest story around.
Every few months some TV channel trouts out this same pony.

Does the DOD pay you to run this ?

Jun. 10 2014 12:05 PM

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