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United States Technology

USS Ronald Reagan Commissioning Tomorrow 1831

Posted by michael
from the no-memory-of-those-events dept.
wessman writes "Being an employee at Northrop Grumman's Newport News shipyard, I cannot help but be proud to see one of our products commissioned by the U.S. Navy, especially considering how long it takes to build a $5 billion Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. And I'm sure the other 18,000 workers here feel the same way. The ship is being commissioned Saturday, July 12 at the Norfolk naval base. It is obviously the most technically advanced carrier in the fleet, taking the term "hardware" to new levels. Pick a local story. From the Hampton Roads Daily Press: Anchors Aweigh, Changes Abound Aboard Carrier, Some Wanted CVN-76 Named after Daredevil Flier, 20,000 Expected for Reagan's Rite, USS Constellation Retiring Too Soon?. From the Virginia Pilot: The Carrier Reagan - Ahead of Its Class, Carrier Construction is All in the Family, Former President's Son Michael Reagan Excited about Commissioning."
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USS Ronald Reagan Commissioning Tomorrow

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  • I wonder (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:20AM (#6415141)
    I wonder who is going to be skipper for the USS Gipper.
    • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mother Gibber (48207)
      From the Daily Press: The Reagan's skipper, Capt. John W. "Bill" Goodwin, looked at the model and suggested some changes. The program allowed the shipyard to save millions of dollars by catching problems earlier in the process, Gunter said.
      • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kfx (603703)
        You act as if you seriously expected a first-posting AC to have RTFA... this is /., remember?
  • Gerald Ford (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jack Comics (631233) * <jack_comics@nOsPaM.postxs.org> on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:24AM (#6415175) Homepage
    Whew, at least it's not the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, or the U.S. Navy would be in big trouble. I mean, Gerald Ford tumbling while getting out of a helicopter is one thing, but I can only imagine what kind of manuever problems the U.S.S. Gerald Ford would have. It could potentially destroy half a sea port while attempting to dock.

  • Bah. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Surak (18578) * <surak@nOsPaM.mailblocks.com> on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:24AM (#6415184) Homepage Journal
    It'll just lose all the data stored in its memory systems after every mission. Particularly secret CIA ones.
  • How appropriate... (Score:3, Informative)

    by sting3r (519844) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:25AM (#6415198) Homepage
    ...that a $5 billion aircraft carrier that we really don't need during this time of budget crunches and economic weakness bears the name of the man who invented modern deficit spending in America.

    Ronald Reagan's pro-spending, pro-big-government, anti-labor policies are undoubtedly going to lead my beloved country to her death. But with our large military, at least we will make a hell of a lot of noise when everything finally collapses.

    • by letxa2000 (215841) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:41AM (#6415421)
      that a $5 billion aircraft carrier that we really don't need during this time of budget crunches and economic weakness

      Believe it or not it takes more than a few days to plan and build one of these things. We were still in an economic boom (bubble, but who knew) at the time.

      Plus, these things don't last forever and you don't wait until one of your existing carriers is toast to start thinking of buying another one. The defense of the country is an ongoing investment.

      Ronald Reagan's pro-spending, pro-big-government, anti-labor policies are undoubtedly going to lead my beloved country to her death.

      Wow, you take the cake. A liberal that can blame today's problems on a president from two decades ago. Nevermind that social spending far exceeds military spending, but blame the military spending for the deficit. Whatever.

    • the name of the man who invented modern deficit spending in America...Ronald Reagan's pro-spending, pro-big-government

      You are demonstrably mistaken. It was not Ronald Reagan but Congress that was "pro-spending," and "pro-big-government." From Fiscal Year 1981 through Fiscal Year 1981, only once did the Reagan administration propose more spending than Congress approved; for the other years, Congress spent more money than Reagan proposed. Here are the actual figures Reagan proposed, and the actual amount

  • Bad Name (Score:5, Funny)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:26AM (#6415202) Homepage
    Does that make it the U.S.S.R. Regan? :)
  • Ouch.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:26AM (#6415209) Homepage Journal

    At $5 billion a pop, I can only imagine what a Beowulf cluster of these would be like..
  • great... (Score:3, Funny)

    by painehope (580569) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:26AM (#6415212)
    let me guess, Microsoft designed the onboard software, and it lives up to it's namesake :
    the GPS forgets where it is, and the sensory equipment goes to sleep during long meetings.
    • Re:great... (Score:3, Informative)

      by hexcentric1 (688709)
      Actually, the server software is Win2k. Third-party database software (can't say which) does most of the work, though. The Navy's SmartShip program is behind this (try a Google search); the reason everything else is so old is simple. The Navy is very, very slow to adopt technology. Even on a ship as new as the Reagan, there are components with designs nearly 100 years old. Its just how they think. If the technology isn't proven, and then aged a bit, the Navy simply won't adopt it.
  • by mblase (200735) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:29AM (#6415241)
    The list from "Changes Abound Aboard Carrier [dailypress.com]" includes:

    * More space for women
    * New island house
    * Bulbous bow
    * New arresting gear

    One can't help but think it should have been named the USS Bill Clinton instead....
    • by greysky (136732) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:53AM (#6415624)
      Features of the USS Clinton:

      *All female crewmembers return to port preagnant.
      *When conflict breaks out, it makes port in a non-involved country.
      *Has a suite of bedrooms for rent at $50,000/night.
      *Equiped with a double compliment of distress beacons and emergency signal flares.
      *Flight deck lined with astroturf.
  • by SpaceRook (630389) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:32AM (#6415275)
    Here is a hell of a lot of images of these things:

    Pictures [fas.org]
  • Not dead yet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hawkfish (8978) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:35AM (#6415319) Homepage
    How come so many things are being named after this guy when he's not even dead yet? It used to be that you had to be dead to get public objects named after you. But for some odd reason, RWR is getting airports, federal buildings and warships named after him without the traditional respectful pause. This pause was there to prevent overly partisan hysteria from hijacking the public name space. And of course, Conservatives (who ought to know better) are the principal forces behind this flushing of tradition.

    In Reagan's case, he is not really a factor, but his partisans (and detractors) are still pretty rabid. If he is really a great as his adherents say he is, why not wait a bit longer until a consensus emerges?
  • From the Pilot Online article Though they tout the Reagan as far more powerful than any threat it might face, Navy leaders insist that the massive cost of an even more powerful ship is easily justified.

    They better make sure they commision at least two submarines to escort this thing. The only ship capable of really fighting a submarine is another submarine. The suface ship guys may say they can handle this role, but they can't. If this thing isn't escorted by at least two 688s it will never hear the modern diesel boat running on batteries that launches 4 torpodoes on it.
  • by Dambiel (115695) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:35AM (#6415335) Homepage
    From "The Carrier Reagan - Ahead of Its Class [hamptonroads.com]" (emphasis mine)
    After the next carrier, the George H.W. Bush, the Navy intends to unveil a new design; it will be roughly the size of a Nimitz-class ship but with automated systems that could cut the ship's company of 3,200 by one-third or more and a new reactor able to power electromagnetic catapults and
    directed-energy weapons .


    Directed energy weapons! what does that mean? High powered lasers? Something else that's super-secret?

    after reading that I half-expected a description of how the next carriers will transform into a gi-normous humanoid robot.
  • by dbrower (114953) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:35AM (#6415338) Journal
    Whether it's unilateral or with world consensus, we need to be able to get planes over targets. With world wide basing for ground based air becoming more difficult, carriers remain relevant. Much dancing and spinning was done to get enough carriers near Iraq, with extended deployments. We'll need to have some near Liberia soon. Having these things is a cost of being a superpower.

    An interesting question is whether we can shrink the size of the supporting battlegroup around a carrier in these times of reduced naval competition.

    Independant of pointless pissing contests about politics, Reagan was a notable president. I'd fully expect there to be a significant ship named after Clinton some time in the future.

    -dB

  • Simply wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gilroy (155262) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:36AM (#6415348) Homepage Journal
    I don't want to get into the flamewars over whether Ronald Reagan was the savior of the US or its most disastrous President, whether he trampled Communism or got lucky, whether his rising tide lifted all boats or swamped the poor and middle class. But I have to say this:


    It is simply wrong, indeed, dangerous, to name anything after a living personage, especially a politician. And double especially a President.


    This is cult-of-personality gone extreme. It's a small step from this to granting titles to retired Presidents, to granting titles to current Presidents. Rather than an occasion for a solemn acknowledgement of a person's contributions -- as validated by the sweep of history -- we get partisanship, triumphialism, and politicking.


    It might sound morbid but they should have waited until he was dead.

  • by stoolpigeon (454276) <bittercode@gmail> on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:36AM (#6415349) Homepage Journal
    I served on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson (CVN-70). I also spent a little time on the Nimitz after I came off active duty and was in the reserves.

    What always impressed me about carriers- beyond the obvious, was that all that high tech is backed up by very simple means of getting the job done.

    I worked in the V-2 division, arresting gear. We had electric motors that set the weight on an arresting gear engine for each trap. But each of those motors had a crank and they could be set by hand if power was not available.

    Sound powered phones are still another slick- no power needed tool that impress the heck out of me.

    But what everyone should remember - the single thing that make carriers so effective- are the people that run it.

    .
    • I second that (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Friday July 11, 2003 @12:51PM (#6416441) Homepage Journal
      I was in G3 and G4 on Enterprise, back in the late 80's. You'd be surprised what's moved by pulleys, steel cables, and compressed air on the same carrier with 4 to 8 nuclear reactors. Ships are a balance of high tech, and simple + reliable, like the sound powered phones. When jets got too heavy to take off of decks under their own power, the Navy started looking for ways to catapult them off. After examining various complicated mechanical measures, the Navy settled on a simple system where steam...that's right, hot water to steam, propels them off the deck.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:37AM (#6415363)
    Obviously nobody else read the article, or was too busy flaming the US for trying to impose a Pax Americana. The new series of ship (after this one) will have a separate reactor for powering electromagnetic catapults and directed energy weapons. Talk about the ultimate missle defense system:
    Detect incoming missle with integrated helicopter radar
    Point maser at incoming missle
    Destroy incoming missle
    Profit!

    Piloting the planes off the deck via an electromagnetic catapule will give new meaning to the old Quake 2 'so-and-so rides so-and-so's rail'.
  • by jdehnert (84375) * <jdehnertNO@SPAMdehnert.com> on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:38AM (#6415391) Homepage
    ...perhaps they will name a submarine after Monica Lewinski!
  • by jazman_777 (44742) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:45AM (#6415494) Homepage
    Hey, I'm a geek, and I love gadgets and technological gee-gaws, even the military ones. And I love reading history, and wars make for some of the best history. But is anyone else in the US bothered by how we seem absolutely enveloped by The Holiness and Greatness and Glory of Our Military? It's near worshipful (aka Idolatry). And I don't even watch Fox news.
  • by AntiOrganic (650691) on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:49AM (#6415553) Homepage
    I'm waiting for the USS Bill Clinton, with fully retractable onboard ramming penis.
  • Sick jokes... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mtrupe (156137) on Friday July 11, 2003 @12:08PM (#6415854) Homepage Journal
    Love him or hate him, any compassionate person would not make fun of Ronald Reagan (or anyone for that matter) for suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Anyone with an ounce of civility would realize that its just crude. Its not funny whatsoever.

    Its odd that so many liberals, so eager to tell everyone who compassionate they are, are so quick to make jokes about such topics.
  • by hexcentric1 (688709) on Friday July 11, 2003 @12:15PM (#6415985)
    The point of a carrier is not necessarily firepower. There's a reason they call it "100,000 tons of diplomacy." True, the Air Force can bomb anywhere in the world with their long-range bombers, but the fear of a plane that could fly over is a lot less than fear of a big ship parked off your coast. I can't believe there is even an argument over whether a new carrier is needed to replace the aging carriers. The USS Constellation is in really terrible shape, USS Kitty Hawk is almost as bad, USS John F Kennedy is worse, and even USS Enterprise, which was the first nuc carrier, is in really bad shape. I should know, I spend all day on one. What the Navy is trying to do with their new, automated systems is reduce the manning required. It costs well over half a billion dollars each year to maintain and operate a nuclear carrier. If they can automate systems, they will reduce the manning required to operate those systems, and their preventive maintenance through use of these systems (ICAN) will save A LOT of money. If it works. The server architecture is archaic, and runs Win2k. I can attest that other ships have had serious problems with the servers running these systems. And still do. They run Windows because the private companies providing a lot of these systems employ software that only runs on Windows. Its not a very good solution, but now that the Navy has started down a path, they are committed. Maybe the CVN-21 will have a chance...
  • U.S.S. Grace Hopper (Score:4, Informative)

    by jhines (82154) <john@jhines.org> on Friday July 11, 2003 @12:30PM (#6416189) Homepage
    Anybody serve aboard her? That is a ship named after one of the Navy's formost geeks, way before being geeky was cool. (if it ever is)

    Just a small ship in a big navy, but they are important to.
  • The real question is (Score:3, Interesting)

    by goon america (536413) on Friday July 11, 2003 @01:13PM (#6416712) Homepage Journal
    So, are we going to give it to Iran?
  • My $.02 on this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeyToo (527303) on Friday July 11, 2003 @02:20PM (#6417622)
    OK, I've read all the sarcastic/scathing/vitriolic typical /. comments here. Some people seem very caught up in their own self-importance, others just in ignorance. I'm sure this post will fall to the bottom of the heap. That's not really my concern. Having spent four years aboard another carrier (USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71) and being a member of the commissioning crew, I thought I'd interject some of my own self-importance/ignorance here. The ocean is wide. Ours is an island nation even though it doesn't appear to be. This fact has kept us insulated from two world wars and many other conflicts. Having borders that are largely water requires us to have a naval presence to protect/defend those borders. Bullies. Whether any of us like it or not and whether it is logical or not, people use force to get what they want in this world. Unfortunately, it seems to be in our base nature. Logic, compassion, and reason don't have any bearing on it. The only way to prevent being overrun by bullies is to be strong yourself. Having 4.5 acres of sovereign US territory that you can move anywher on the ocean allows you to keep those bullies at bay. Whether the politicians are capapble of using that force in a way we all agree with is a matter of much disagreement. Being able to place a force in the vicinity of an ally quickly is also a tangible show of support in a tense situation. Technology changes. The basic design for the Forrestal-class aircraft carrier was laid down in the mid 50's. Experience since then has shown that conventionally-powered aircraft carriers are hard-pressed to perform operations that are relatively simple for their nuclear-powered counterparts. There's simply not enough steam produced by the boilers to drive the ship and operate the catapults. In addition, fuel-storage requirements of the carrier mean that there is less fuel aboard for aircraft operations and to support other ships in the battle group. This makes the CVN not only more capable but more self-sufficient. If you don't use it, you lose it. The skills necessary to produce a 100,000 ton 1100ft long, 300 ft wide, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier don't really transfer well to civil shipbuilding. Continuous building projects not only provide new, improved ships, but keep the skills necessary to produce them alive. Salt water is a bitch. Rust starts the moment you lay down the keel to the day the last chunk of scrap goes off to make more razor blades. Naval hardware gets put to hard use through its lifetime. Pride. An aircraft carrier is something to see. It's hard to believe that something that big can move at all. Even after having lived on one for four years, I'm still in awe. Ok.. enough said. Getting down off soapbox.
  • by mc6809e (214243) on Friday July 11, 2003 @03:09PM (#6418112)
    Quotes
    In June 1989, Ronald Reagan said, "Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders. ... The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip." [1]

    [1] http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.j html?articleID=10300367 [informationweek.com]
    • by geek (5680) on Friday July 11, 2003 @03:16PM (#6418184) Homepage
      Reagan was big on technology because he believed it scared the hell out of the USSR. Gorbi was scared to death of Reagans Star Wars plans, he knew the USSR couldn't ever possibly compete with us economically and technology was all about investment. Reagan knew this to be their weakness so he increased military spending and investmets in technology and let the USSR bankrupt itself trying to keep up. Every president before him took part in dente which was basically a welfare program, we gave them money and in return they didn't nuke us.

      In every summit Gorbi and Reagan had Gorbi pushed to end Star Wars, even coming to the brink of war over it. Reagan never relented and continued to push the technology. He had the forsight to know that overcoming evil, poverty and every other ill on this Earth involved investment in technology.
  • Bugging me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JSmooth (325583) on Friday July 11, 2003 @03:56PM (#6418564)
    Here's what has been bugging me lately,

    Why is it ok to lie about motives, money and politics (see Reagan & the Contras, or W. & Nuclear (prounouced NukeClear) weapons) but NOT ok to lie about sex? (see Clinton and Monica).

    I hate Clinton but I could honestly care less who he had sex with. I put him in the same category as Bush Jr. except maybe he was a little smarter.

    Just a thought.

    - If you wanna see what happens when the dumbest amonst us aspires to lead look no further than the Grand US of A

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds

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