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Carrier: Show Of Force

Airs Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: Courtesy of Carrier Project

Above: Airmen maintain an F/A-18E Hornet, flown by Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14), aka "The Top Hatters," aboard the USS Nimitz.

"Carrier" is a character-driven, edge-of-your-seat, nonfiction drama and a once-in-a-lifetime total immersion in the high-stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. "Carrier" follows a core group of film participants aboard the "USS Nimitz," from the admiral of the strike group to the fighter pilots to the youngest sailors, as they navigate personal conflicts around their jobs, families, faith, patriotism, love, the rites of passage and the war on terror.

Making of Carrier

Seven members of the documentary crew that helped bring a very intimate and revealing look at life in the Navy share their personal moments from their time aboard the "Nimitz."

The "USS Nimitz" is 24 stories high, three football fields long and carries more than 5,000 Navy personnel and 85 military aircraft. Filmed from May to November 2005, nearly 2,000 hours of high-definition video were captured aboard the ship during a full six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf, of which three months were spent in combat in support of the ground troops. For the first time, a television series takes a raw and personal look at the Navy’s role in this controversial war.

"Show Of Force"

The mission really kicks off when the Nimitz arrives in the Gulf. The conditions are extreme: flight deck personnel endure temperatures hovering around 120 degrees, while the pilots undertake grueling six-hour missions over Iraq. The F-18s are mounted with infrared cameras, enabling them to serve as the "eyes in the sky" to support the troops on the ground. Some of the pilots are frustrated that they're not dropping bombs because, as they describe it, that's what they've been trained to do. The aircraft carrier's role and effectiveness in this particular war are questioned. Meanwhile, the strike group searches for terrorists on small dhows and intercepts cargo ships to search for weapons and bomb-making materials.

Watcht the full episode "Show Of Force"

"Carrier," a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz, is a character-driven immersion in the high-stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier.

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