A Levittown native is serving aboard one of the world’s largest warships, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
Senior Chief Petty Officer Brian Kearns, a 1998 Pennsbury High School graduate, joined the Navy 23 years ago.
“I wanted to get away and change the course of my life; I needed to get things together,” said Brian.
According to Brian, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Levittown.
“Growing up, I learned to understand the value of hard work at a young age,” he said.
“Mighty IKE” is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier named for Dwight D. Eisenhower (or “IKE”), one of four 5-star Generals of the Army and a hero of World War II, and would later serve as the 34th President of the United States of America.
“President Eisenhower is remembered for his enduring virtues of duty, honor, integrity and decency,” said Capt. Paul F. Campagna, commanding officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. “We see these every day in the content of character and quality of work shown by Sailors assigned to Mighty IKE as they keep this city on a ship operating safely.”
The Mighty IKE, like each of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, represents an enduring investment in America’s security.
Each carrier is built to provide a formidable response to just about any global crisis.
When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 fighter attack jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea and can provide over the horizon and from the sea combat air power anywhere in the world within 12 days.
This inherent flexibility is why aircraft carriers are often the first response to a global crisis and a proven solution for protecting America.
“The Mighty IKE crew launches and recovers aircraft at sea every day, and there are thousands of tasks that make this possible,” added Campagna. “Whether the 4,500 Sailors on board work to provide power to the ship, repair aircraft, steer IKE through congested waters, prepare over 14,000 meals a day, work in laundry or keep our waste water moving, every job is critical and must be performed well for this ship to execute assigned missions from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and everywhere in between. No other nation can do what we do at the pace we do it, and it is because of the incredible men and women from all over that volunteer to serve and represent the best of our namesake and our country.”
Homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, Eisenhower is longer than three football fields at 1,092 feet.
The ship is 252 feet wide and weighs more than 100,000 tons.
It has two pressurized water reactors producing more than 260,000 shaft horsepower that drive four massive propellers at a max speed in excess of 35 mph.
Serving in the Navy means Brian is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy’s flexibility and our ability to deploy anywhere in the world in a moment’s notice, is unique,” said Brian.
With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Brian as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“I serve because I know I am serving for something greater than myself,” added Brian.
PHOTO CAP: Senior Chief Petty Officer Brian Kearns. Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jeffery T. Williams.