The nuclear powered aircraft carriers USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) (right) and USS GEORGE WSHINGTON (CVN 73) (left) underway side by side in the Persian Gulf. With both carriers and their embarked air wings in the region, the U.S. now has some 100 strike aircraft operating independently in the region. NIMITZ and GEORGE WASHINGTON continue to patrol the no-fly zone over Iraq in support of UN sanctions. Operation Southern Watch, 23 November 1997