When Can I See the USS Nimitz Aircraft Carrier Go by Bainbridge Island?

By Peter Ferguson

Well, its turns out we can’t tell you that because the aircraft carrier’s deployment schedule is considered classified and not disclosed until it’s just 36 to 72 hours out. We can tell you that the aircraft carrier Nimitz is big.

Really, really big. It’s 1,092 feet long, 252 feet wide and over 23 stories tall from the keel to the top of the mast. And no one can deny, witnessing USS Nimitz just feet from our southern shore is a goose bump inspiring experience.

Commissioned on May 3, 1975, USS Nimitz did not see deployment until 1976 when it began its storied career spanning four decades, answering our Country’s call in response to regional and international crises as well as to support peace efforts.

It is named for Adm. Chester William Nimitz, who was a five-star admiral in the United States Navy. Today, islanders can get an eyeful of the colossal aircraft carrier, the oldest in the United States’ fleet, as it sails to and from the Bremerton Naval Base, its home since 2001, as it passes through the sheltered and safe Rich Passage.

According to Public affairs officer Lt. Cmdr. Theresa Donnelly, Nimitz has recently been running deployment drills and going through a 21-month overhaul, affording more opportunities than usual to see the massive boat.

Propelled by two nuclear reactors which can move the boat a clip faster than 30 knots Nimitz transports roughly 3,200 to 5,000 crew members that eat 18,000 to 20,000 meals per day! Six doctors, five dentists and two barbershops (that trim over 1,500 heads per week) keep the company shipshape.