The video, shot by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Waters, gives us a quick and incomplete yet revealing enough glimpse at the journey bombs and missiles taken from deep inside Ike’s belly all the way to the hardpoints that attach them to the fighter planes.
It all starts below decks, in the weapons area, where the munition is stored unassembled. Once the order comes down to have something ready, sailors on duty there set out to put the missiles together and get them ready for deployment.
Once in one piece, they get shipped via elevators to the hangar bay and on the flight deck, passing through several checks at transfer points along the way. Those are meant to ensure they’ve been put together properly and will work as advertised. Once the all-clear is given, the weapons are attached to the planes, which launch on their missions.
The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group consists of Ike itself, capable of holding 90 fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters, and five guided-missile destroyers and cruisers (USS Monterey, USS Mitscher, USS Laboon, USS Mahan, and USS Thomas Hudner). The airplanes deployed with these ships belong to the Carrier Air Wing 3.