SAILORS BECOME SICK ABOARD USS NIMITZ DUE TO JET FUEL
By Buddy Blouin
Sailors offer to put their lives on the line to defend America throughout the world through naval warfare. Joining the U.S. Navy comes with an understanding that your personal health and life may be put on the line and even sacrificed to defend freedom. But in no way, shape, or form should troops be subjected to unnecessary dangers while serving. The USS Nimitz is suffering from contaminated water that looks to have made some Sailors sick.
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Where Is the USS Nimitz?Due to its water contamination issue, the USS Nimitz location remains at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California. This port, however, is the home port of the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). Though the Navy has stated that the issue is resolved, lingering health effects remain, and potential investigations and tests could still be underway.
Is Jet Fuel Poisoning Sailors?At least five Sailors have fallen ill after jet fuel leaked into USS Nimitz's drinking water, and the culprit appears to be jet fuel. It should be no surprise that water tainted by jet fuel can lead to health issues; however, it's shocking that the U.S. Navy would allow such a mishap to occur. While at sea on September 16, the issue was reported, but a switch to fresh water from its pier-side connections has been in effect since the 17. Fuel contamination caused one of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz’s 26 potable water tanks to become tainted, and the source of the contamination has finally been identified. In order to purge the ship’s system, more than 800,000 gallons of city water were flushed through the vessel. These actions would end up derailing the original mission of the USS Nimitz, which was participating in a COMPTUEX exercise. Rescheduling is being looked into, and with a continued increase in focus on naval warfare in the Pacific, the importance of training continues to rise. Despite these issues and the ongoing health issues, the Navy says that the source has been found, taken care of, and the water is now safe to drink. With that being said, as of the time of this writing, the ship’s internal potable water system is still offline because of contamination.
The USS Nimitz Is the Oldest Aircraft Carrier in the WorldThe USS Nimitz is the lead ship of Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers used by the U.S. Navy. It’s also the oldest aircraft carrier in our service as well as the world. Since being commissioned on May 3, 1975, Old Salt has served through a wide range of military operations all around the world. In 2018, it was out of commission for at least ten months for a full overhaul, but the water contamination and other features could further the calls for a need to upgrade the Navy. Aircraft carriers assist in a wide range of operations for the U.S. military no matter where conflict arises, but with growing threats from China, it’s clear that naval strength is a necessity for America in the Pacific. Sailors deserve the best because defending America means that you’ll need equipment that's up to the task. Hopefully, the issue with the USS Nimitz is a minor one that inspires change and upgrades across the board.
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