USS Vinson celebrates 30th year of service - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

USS Vinson celebrates 30th year of service

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Sailors aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson celebrated the vessel's 30th year of service Tuesday.

The ship is on its 12th deployment since it was commissioned on March 13, 1982, as the third Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

"When you look at the amount of time Carl Vinson has spent at sea over the last 30 years, it's a tribute to the dedication of every sailor who's served aboard her," said Command Master Chief Jeffrey Pickering. "Prolonged success for a ship always equals one thing -- and that's exceptional maintenance practices."

The vessel was involved in two noteworthy events last year, receiving the body of Osama bin Laden and disposing of it at sea, and hosting the first college basketball game on a ship, the Carrier Classic, in which North Carolina beat Michigan State.

Other notable events in the Carl Vinson's history:

-- in 1986, it became the first modern aircraft carrier to conduct operations in the Bering Sea;

-- in 2001, it launched the first air strikes in Operation Enduring Freedom in response to the 9/11 attacks; and

-- in 2010, it diverted to Haiti to provide humanitarian assistance after a devastating earthquake.

The Vinson's latest deployment began on Nov. 30. It began launching flight operations in the Middle East in mid-January, according to the Navy.

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