Ship's History After her commissioning May 3, 1975, Nimitz’ first deployment began July 7, 1976 when she departed Norfolk for the Mediterranean. Nimitz again sailed toward the Mediterranean Sea Dec. 1, 1977. Sept. 10, 1979, she was dispatched to the Indian Ocean as tensions heightened after Iran took 52 U.S. hostages. Four months later, Operation Evening Light was launched from Nimitz in an attempt to rescue the hostages. The rescue was aborted in the Iranian desert when the number of operational helicopters fell below the minimum needed to complete the rescue. Oct. 29, 1988, Nimitz began operating in the North Arabian Sea in support of Operation Earnest Will. Nimitz then departed Bremerton on Feb. 25, 1991 for the Arabian Gulf, relieving USS Ranger (CV 61), during Operation Desert Storm. Nimitz again deployed Feb. 1, 1993 to the Arabian Gulf, relieving USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as part of Operation Southern Watch. Sept. 1, 1997, Nimitz set out on an around-the-world cruise. During this deployment, Nimitz was ordered into the Arabian Gulf to support Operation Southern Watch and various United Nations initiatives. Nimitz arrived at her new homeport in San Diego Nov. 13, 2001. In 2003, Nimitz deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In May 2005, Nimitz embarked on a six-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism. After leaving the Gulf, the strike group participated in Malabar 2005, an exercise between the U.S. and Indian navies. In 2007 and 2008, Nimitz CSG deployed in support of the U.S. commitment to peace and stability in the region. Nimitz departed to the Persian Gulf for a scheduled eight-month Western Pacific deployment on July 31, 2009 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Nimitz arrived at her new homeport in Everett, Washington in March 2012. March 30, 2013, Nimitz deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Nov. 3, 2014, Nimitz took part in naval aviation history when the Navy’s fifth generation Joint Strike Fighter, F-35 Lightning, touched down on a carrier at sea for the first time. Nimitz arrived at her new homeport in Bremerton, Washington Jan. 13, 2015. Beginning Jan. 15, 2016, Nimitz underwent a 20-month extended incremental availability (EPIA). Nimitz began workups Oct. 10, 2016 for a 2017 deployment completing sea trials, and Tailored Ships Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA-FEP). Nimitz returned to sea Jan. 28, 2017 to undergo its first Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) since 2010. In April 2017 Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 completed its final pre-deployment assessment, Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), marking the completion of a condensed Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC). Nimitz deployed on a regularly scheduled deployment June 1 to the U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F) and U.S. 5th Fleet (C5F) areas of operation. Nimitz returned home from deployment on December 10, 2017. Nimitz entered dry dock six on March 1st, 2018, for a docking planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.