Carrier Air Wing Three deployed aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is made up of about 70 aircraft, which require many hours of maintenance per flight hour flown. When the fixes or scheduled inspection are not superficial, the aircraft is brought down to the carrier’s hangar deck. Even though this is a cavernous space, filling it with dinosaur sized aircraft gets tight real quick.

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Packed hangar bays were even more common during the Cold War, when up to 90 aircraft were carried on Nimitz Class carriers during deployments. Making things even more challenging was the fact that many more types of aircraft made up a typical super-carrier air wing than what the Navy fields today. The smaller Midway Class carriers had it even worse.

Even with less aircraft than in the past to service, as deployments draw on, space can be at a premium in the hangar bay. Check out this pic of the USS Ronald Reagan during a deployment.

The U.S. has a luxuriously large hangar bay on its carriers compared to the Russians, Chinese and Indians. Check out this picture of Russia’s Admiral Kuznetzov’s hangar bay packed with massive Su-33 fighters.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is currently undertaking advanced training with its air wing and escorts in the Atlantic. Early next year the entire strike group will participate in Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPUTEX) before being certified for deployment.

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Carrier Air Wing Three includes the following squadrons:

CodeInsigniaSquadronNicknameAssigned Aircraft
VFA-32

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Strike Fighter Squadron 32SwordsmenF/A-18F Super Hornet
VFA-86

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Strike Fighter Squadron 86SidewindersF/A-18E Super Hornet
VFA-105

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Strike Fighter Squadron 105GunslingersF/A-18E Super Hornet
VFA-131

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Strike Fighter Squadron 131WildcatsF/A-18C Hornet
VAW-123

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123ScrewtopsE-2C Hawkeye
VAQ-130

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Electronic Attack Squadron 130ZappersEA-18G Growler
VRC-40

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 Det. 1RawhidesC-2A Greyhound
HSC-7

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7Dusty DogsMH-60S Knighthawk
HSM-74

Check Out The Crowded Hangar Bay Aboard The Carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74Swamp FoxesMH-60R Seahawk

Organized chaos!

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Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.