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Oakwood native serves aboard aircraft carrier
Alissa-Marin
Alissa Marin

A 2012 West Hall High School graduate and Oakwood native is serving on the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, one of the world’s largest warships.

Fireman Alissa Marin is an engineman aboard the Norfolk-based ship, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and one of only 10 operational aircraft carriers in the Navy. The carrier is longer than three football fields, at nearly 1,100 feet long, is 252 feet wide and weighs more than 100,000 tons. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at more than 35 mph.

Marin is an emergency diesel generator mechanic. As a sailor with numerous responsibilities, she said she is learning about herself as a leader, sailor and a person.

Approximately 3,200 men and women make up the ship’s company, which keeps all parts of the aircraft carrier running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors. Another 2,500 or so form the air wing, those who actually fly and maintain the aircraft.

The USS George H.W. Bush, like each of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, is designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea. Powerful catapults slingshot the aircraft off the bow of the ship. The planes land aboard the carrier by snagging a steel cable with an arresting hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft. All of this makes the George H.W. Bush a self-contained mobile airport and strike platform, and often the first response to a global crisis because of a carrier’s ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.

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