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History and Heritage

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Celebrates 40th Birthday

6 Things You Need to Know About Ike

1. IKE was commissioned October 18, 1977, under the command of Capt. William E. Ramsey. Her first Mediterranean Sea deployment began in 1978 after 14 months of fleet training.

2. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier with a nuclear reactor propulsion system. Her displacement of 101,600 long tons. She is 1,092 feet long and 244 feet high. She can travel 30 knots or more and her flight deck spans 4.5 acres. Ike's planned crew size is 6,287 personnel including the Air Wing.

3. IKE's namesake is the 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was a five-star general in the United States Army and he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces during World War II. The ship's sponsor was Mamie Doud-Eisenhower, widow of the late president. She christened IKE on October 11, 1975.

4. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has endured three Complex Overhaul's since she joined the fleet. The 18-month shipyard period from October 1985 to April 1987 included the Close-in Weapons System, NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System, Navy Tactical Data System, Anti-Submarine Warfare Module and communications upgrades. From October 1995 to January 1997, she had an aft boarding dock added. From May 2001 to March 2005, she received her mid-life, comprehensive refueling complex overhaul which included the replacing of the top two levels of the island, a new antenna mast, and a new radar tower.

5. IKE has supported America's interests since her commissioning, including her response to the Iran hostage crisis in 1980, support in the Red Sea in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Deny Flight, as well as her support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

6. In 1990, IKE completed her sixth Mediterranean deployment, coinciding with a worldwide Dwight D. Eisenhower Centennial celebrating the late president's 100th birthday. During D-Day anniversary ceremonies off the coast of Normandy, Ike's son, John Eisenhower, and D-Day veterans embarked the ship while Carrier Air Wing 7 conducted a memorial flyover of the American cemetery at Omaha Beach.