The US Navy brags it has 7 carriers at sea - half the fleet was stuck pier-side over a month ago

USS Harry Truman

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford

The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and ships assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) transit the Atlantic Ocean while conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on February 16, 2018.

  • The US Navy tweeted Tuesday morning that it had seven of its 11 aircraft carriers out to sea.
  • Less than two months ago, the service had that many flattops stuck pierside or in the yard for maintenance, malfunctions, and other issues.
  • Four of the carriers previously stuck pierside- the Harry S. Truman, John C. Stennis, Eisenhower, and Gerald R. Ford - are now underway.
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The US Navy bragged on social media Tuesday morning that it currently has seven aircraft carriers underway, a major improvement over the situation in late October, when half the carrier fleet was in a non-deployable state.

"The Navy has 7 aircraft carriers underway today. NBD," the Navy Chief of Information (CHINFO) tweeted Tuesday in a humble-brag; "NBD" is an acronym for "no big deal."Advertisement

Less than two months ago, the Navy had that many carriers stuck pierside due to maintenance issues, preparation for mid-life overhauls, unexpected malfunctions, and new construction challenges.

On the East Coast, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) was winding up to a deployment after an extended maintenance availability.

The USS George Washington (CVN-73) was in the yard for its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) pierside in preparation for its mid-life overhaul.
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The USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) was in extended maintenance. The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was down for an electrical malfunction.

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was in an extended post-shakedown availability.And, on the West Coast, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was in maintenance, leaving only four of 11 carriers readily available.Advertisement

With only four carriers, the Navy still had ready an unmatched carrier force, but with that many ships in the yard, it makes it harder to meet the demand for carriers, important tools for the projection of American military power.

"I have a demand for carriers right now that I can't fulfill. The combatant commanders want carriers," Richard Spencer, the former Secretary of the Navy, said at that time.

Right now, the Truman is underway in the 6th Fleet area of operations while the Stennis, Ike, and Ford are all underway in the Atlantic. The USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) are underway in the 3rd Fleet AOR, and the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) remains in the 5th Fleet AOR, the Navy told Insider.Advertisement

The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is forward-deployed in Japan, but it is currently in port.

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