The US has not suffered an attack on its own soil since Japanese attack planes hit Hawaii’s Pearl Harbour in 1941, and this is largely due to its powerful Navy and aircraft carrier strike groups.
Twelve miles of the coast of any nation, the ocean becomes international waters. The US Navy uses aircraft carriers, and an assortment of other fighting and supply ships, to turn those oceans into a buffer zone between the US and war.
“90% of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of a coast. A carrier can impact all of those population centres and reach out and touch any strategically important place in the world,” US Navy Capt. James C. Rentfrow said on the USS Gerald R. Ford episode of Smithsonian Channel’s new “Carriers at War” series, which premieres on June 10 at 8 p.m. EST.
“The navy prefers to play an away game, having that fight away from our waters is desirable,” said Rentfrow.
The US has more aircraft carriers than all other nations combined, but the behemoth ships don’t sail alone. They rely on destroyers, cruisers, submarines, and supply ships to keep them safe and stocked.
In this excerpt from Sunday’s episode of “Carriers at War,” find out how the US Navy’s carrier strike groups work together to beat back conflict from the US’s shores.
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