WATERS EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA (NNS) -- The crew of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) celebrated the ship's 35th commissioning ceremony March 13 while on a regularly-scheduled Western Pacific deployment.
Capt. Eric Anduze, Carl Vinson's executive officer, announced the cake cutting ceremony via a message on the ship's general announcing system while summarizing 35 years of Carl Vinson's highlights, which included numerous deployments since 1983, one earthquake response and the burial-at-sea of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Congressman Carl Vinson, for whom the aircraft carrier is named, served more than 50 years in the House of Representatives. During his tenure, he also served as Chairman of the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee. While serving in that position, Congressman Vinson moved through Congress the landmark Vinson-Trammel Act that provided authority for the eventual construction of 92 major warships. As a result, Vinson became known as the father of the two ocean Navy.
From Capitol Hill, Vinson was instrumental in the establishment of a separate air academy and the launching of the Navy's first nuclear-powered submarine.
Known for stating that, "The most expensive thing in the world is a cheap Army and Navy," Vinson became a powerful force in the growth of America's land, sea and air forces. His skilled legislative abilities assisted in the creation of the Army Air Corps, the improvement of aviator and aircraft procurement and the pre-World War II expansion of aviation in the Navy.
Few men in American history have made so profound an impact on the nation's defense.