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Carrier: Squared Away

Airs Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Dell Bull served as the executive officer and an F-18 pilot, and David Fravor served as commanding officer and an F-18 pilot for Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41), also known as “The Black Aces,” during the deployment featured in "Carrier."

"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.

"Squared Away"

Mentoring and camaraderie are what hold the ship together. But life on deployment is stressful for everyone aboard, and there can be considerable friction between enlisted personnel and their superiors. Port calls allow sailors to blow off steam, but they don’t relieve all the pressure. In Guam, a young sailor coming to terms with his upbringing can’t play by the rules and is forced out of the Navy. From Guam, the Nimitz sails through the Straits of Malacca, past Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, the last liberty call before the long haul to the Persian Gulf.

Video

Watch the entire episode "Squared Away"

Above: "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. This episode reveals how deployment is stressful for everyone aboard, and there can be friction between enlisted personnel and their superiors.