San Diego, California - Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Ms. Mary J. Miller and leaders from four allied nations visited Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Sept. 15, to familiarize themselves with U.S. carrier operations.

Miller and her counterparts from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom toured the carrier and interacted with Sailors for one hour.

Leaders learned about hangar bay and flight deck operations before visiting the navigation bridge. Miller said the visit highlighted the intricate operations of America's 11 active carriers.

"The power that it projects and the stability that it brings to the world is something that has been important in the past and will be going forward into the future," said Miller.

Like each of the Navy's aircraft carriers, Carl Vinson can deploy with more than 60 attack fighter jets, helicopters and other aircraft capable of landing and taking off from a 4.5-acre flight deck. A carrier and its embarked air wing are an enduring asset to peace and security around the world.

"Aircraft carriers really do help to send not only that message of hope to those that need it, but a message of deterrence to those that might be thinking about doing something but don't have the capacity to go against something as awesome as this," said Miller. "It's a tribute not only to the great equipment that you have, but it's really all about the Sailors that are on this particular vessel."

Approximately 3,000 men and women aboard Carl Vinson make up the ship's crew and keep the aircraft carrier running. Another 2,000 Sailors comprise the air wing who fly and maintain aircraft.

Carl Vinson was commissioned in 1982 and bears the name of a former Georgia congressman who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 50 years and chaired the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee for 29 of them. Vinson was the principal sponsor of the so-called "Vinson Acts" which provided for the massive shipbuilding effort in World War II.