Reporter's Notebook: Aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Red Sea: 'Constant self-defense'
Share and Follow

It’s the dark of night, the middle of the Red Sea, but it’s not quiet. The whine of several F-18 super hornet fighter jets produce an ear-splitting sound on the deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. 

In bright primary-colored shirts, sailors on the flight deck tend to their specific jobs. The munitions officers, in red shirts, flip a switch that engages the sidewinder missiles on the outside of the fighter jet’s wings. It’s like taking the safety off your gun. The missiles are now ready to be fired. The pilot inches his jet forward so catapult officers can hook the tow-bar on his front wheel to the shuttle which runs down a steaming slot to the end of the flight deck.  

Through a series of hand signals, a deck officer with yellow flashlights tells the pilot it’s time. He throttles the jet engines to full power and everyone’s rib cages shake on deck. An officer with the title shooter triggers the catapult and with a mighty roar the super hornet is launched into combat over the Red Sea.

Oil tanker on fire

In this photo provided by the Indian Navy on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, a view of  the oil tanker Marlin Luanda on fire after an attack, in the Gulf of Aden. The crew aboard a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker hit by a missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels is battling a fire onboard the stricken vessel sparked by the strike. (Indian Navy via AP)

The threats are constant and while the sailors have proven to be effective at shooting missiles out of the sky, it’s not an easy task and failure is not an option. “We have to be right 100% of the time and they only have to be right once,” says Miguez.

The USS Eisenhower is one of six ships in strike group two. One of them is a cruiser, the USS Philippine Sea. It serves as a sentinel for the strike group, with layers of sailors who monitor high-tech electronics that detect incoming threats. In a matter of seconds, the “watchstanders” determine the nature of the threat and how to respond. 

“It just depends what the threat is and what’s coming at us,” Says Captain Steve Liberty who defined what his ship is ready for, “Anything they can throw our way,” he says.

USS Dwight D Eisenhower

Sailors on the flight deck of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. (Fox News)

In the end, their mission is as old as the Navy itself. Protecting safe maritime trade is the reason the Navy was created in the first place. “Freedom of Navigation,” Says Captain Chris Hill, Commander of the Dwight D Eisenhower, “It’s something we’ve been doing since 1775, and it’s something we’re really good at.”

Share and Follow
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
The View host Alyssa Farah Griffin weighs in on OJ Simpson's death

Analysis by Alyssa Farah Griffin on OJ Simpson’s passing on The View

The passing of OJ Simpson has been acknowledged by The View host…
Police official is shot to death in Mexico's troubled resort city of Acapulco

“Police Official Fatally Shot in Acapulco, Mexico: An Update on the Troubled Resort City”

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The head of traffic police was shot to…
Rhode Island transit chief resigns after he's accused in a hit-and-run at a McDonald's drive-thru

Resignation of Rhode Island Transit Chief Follows Accusation of Hit-and-Run at McDonald’s Drive-Thru

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Public Transit Authority CEO Scott Avedisian…
OJ Simpson's 'retribution': Fame and legal 'do-over' cost disgraced NFL star in Las Vegas robbery case

OJ Simpson’s Legal Consequences: How his Fame and Second Chance impacted the Las Vegas Robbery Case

More than two decades after jurors found disgraced NFL star OJ Simpson…
Judge denied release of woman who stabbed childhood friend because of ‘Slender Man’

Judge refuses to allow woman who stabbed childhood friend due to ‘Slender Man’ to be released

A judge has denied the petition for conditional release for one of…
2000-year-old paintings uncovered in Pompeii

Ancient paintings from Pompeii dating back 2000 years discovered

Archaeologists made an incredible discovery in the lost Roman city of Pompeii,…
Biden will meet with Philippine and Japanese leaders as worry grows over China's Indo-Pacific action

Biden to hold talks with leaders from the Philippines and Japan amid concerns about China’s actions in the Indo-Pacific region

WASHINGTON (AP) President Joe Biden is bringing together Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos…
Idaho murders: Bryan Kohberger defense 'firmly believes' in suspect's innocence

The defense team for Bryan Kohberger is strongly convinced of the suspect’s innocence in the Idaho murder case.

Lawyers for the Washington State University criminology Ph.D. student accused of massacring…