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U.S. Aircraft Carriers in The Gulf War

Updated on April 30, 2012

The Gulf War conflicts occurred within and around the country of Iraq during the early 1990s. Aircraft carriers were vital to the U.S. offensive against Saddam Hussein's regime. Six U.S. aircraft carriers were on active duty in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Persian Gulf during the operations. The carriers launched thousands of successful sorties, while dropping millions of pounds of ordinance during the conflict. Four of the six carriers surpassed Naval benchmarks and broke records during the their time in the Gulf.

The USS Saratoga, USS John F. Kennedy, USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS America were the four of the six ships that surpassed naval benchmarks.

Aircraft carriers were essential to the U.S. offensive during the Gulf War conflicts against Saddam Hussein.
Aircraft carriers were essential to the U.S. offensive during the Gulf War conflicts against Saddam Hussein. | Source

CV-60 "USS Saratoga"

The CV-60 Saratoga was stationed in the Red Sea during the Gulf War. It was the eldest ship of the Red Sea fleet. 21 infantry losses were suffered on the Saratoga during the conflict when it collided with a ferry boat. The veteran ship traversed the Suez Canal a record-breaking 6 times during the Gulf War. The Saratoga was decommissioned in August, 1994. Recent plans to preserve the ship as a museum have failed, and the ship is set to be scrapped or scuttled.

The CVA-66 "USS America"

The CVA-66 America, "USS America", had advanced intelligence capabilities during the Gulf War. The technology was unmatched by any other ship during the conflict. The CV-66 battle system recorded benchmarks for naval warfare. The USS America was the only ship to operate on both sides of the Arabian Peninsula during the Gulf War conflict. The USS America was scuttled southeast of Cape Hatteras in 2005. It was the largest ship ever to be scuttled by the U.S military.

CV-67 "USS John F. Kennedy"

The CV-67, USS John F. Kennedy, aircraft carrier was the flagship of the Red Sea Battle Force during Operation Desert Shield during the Gulf War. The JFK delivered over 3 million pounds of ordinance during Operation Desert Storm while dispatching nearly 3000 sorties. The ordinance and number of sorties fell barely short of the Theodore Roosevelt's ordinance and sortie numbers. The JFK was decommissioned in 2007 after 40 years of service. The JFK was also capable of antisubmarine warfare, which made it an all-purpose carrier for nearly all battle scenarios.

CVN-71 "USS Theodore Roosevelt"

The CVN-71, USS Theodore Roosevelt, arrived in the Persian Gulf during the early 1990s to increase the war effort against the Hussein regime. The aircraft carrier deployed a stunning 5 million pounds of ordinance, and dispatched over 4,000 sorties. Ordinance and sorties dispatched were more than any over carrier during the Gulf War operations. The Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the prestigious Battle Effectiveness Award, known as a "Battle E", for her achievements during the Gulf War conflicts. A 2.4 billion dollar contract to overhaul the Theodore Roosevelt was agreed upon in 2009.


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