Commander William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Captsone Essay Contestting arsenal of weapons and capabilities—have an overwhelming fighting advantage in the maritime domain. While submarines do not offer many of the peacetime benefits or the visual presence of power projection that aircraft carriers can, U.S. submarines can dictate the outcome of any naval war and be a critical determinant in major power conflicts.
Sea power’s mantle was held by the aircraft carrier during and immediately following World War II. Today, Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carriers (CVNs) embody global power projection. Displacing more than 100,000 tons, they constitute a mobile and forward-deployed sovereign piece of U.S. territory to conduct operations. The colossal size of U.S. CVNs allows them to support a highly capable, diverse, and flexible carrier air wing consisting of F/A-18 Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, E-2D Hawkeyes, MV-22 Ospreys, and SH-60 Seahawks.