A Flight Deck View Of War Games In The Yellow Sea


Only one percent of people in the world have done what we are about to do: be "tailhooked" on a plane landing at top speed aboard an aircraft carrier in open sea.

Cameraman, Brad Olson, and I are kitted up and ready to go; a head crushing helmet to drown out the ear-splitting noise.

CNN has been invited onto the USS George Washington in the volatile Yellow Sea. An hours flying time and we are brought to a shuddering halt; thrust forward as the plane goes from 150 miles an hour to a dead stop in just two seconds!

On board: a flurry of activity. Six thousand troops work around the clock keeping the carrier group on alert and the jet fighters in the sky. One after one the jets come in to land; a deafening noise that sends a shudder through my whole body.

The ship is more than 1,000 feet long and weighs 100,000 tons. The carrier is 18 years old, they usually last 50 years, so it has many more voyages ahead.

This one though is one of its more crucial. These exercises have been long planned. Defensive drills and formations mainly: no live fire.

But they have taken on greater significance since North Korea's attack last week on the South's Yeonpyeong Island: killing two military personnel and two civilians; forcing residents to flee.