No ship on Earth has more firepower than the USS Eisenhower. The Nimitz-class carrier is 20 stories high and its flight deck covers four and half acres. When it’s underway, The Ike carries 60 combat aircraft that can deliver tons of bombs to America’s enemies.
Indiana native Josie Arcus delivers many of those bombs to the Ike’s aircraft squadrons. The sailor from North Judson works with aviation ordinance. It means she assembles the carts that will carry two thousand pound bombs to the carrier aircraft. It’s something her friends in Starke County can’t imagine her doing.
"They're shocked, especially because they never thought I'd ever be doing something like that with my career, they're shocked even that I went on deployment," said Arcus.
The deployment for Josie and the rest of the Ike’s 5,000-member crew can last for months at a time and can take them all across the globe. It’s not easy. As big as this ship is, when you walk through it, you realize the quarters are very tight.
"I value the little things in life more than before I went on deployment...like showering without sandals. It’s nice to sleep in when you don't have duty," said Arcus.
All the work on board has one goal: to make the Eisenhower ready to protect the country at any moment on any mission. The crew members flew airstrikes earlier this year against ISIS.
"I do take a lot of pride in what we do out here even if it's just the smallest job on the ship it works up to that cause of fighting the bad guys," said Arcus.
Arcus may have grown up far from any ocean, but her family has deep roots in the Navy. Her great grandparents both served, as did her father. It’s part of her Hoosier tradition she never forgets.
"Knowing that my family is proud of me, I'm glad I chose this route. Mostly what keeps me going is that my family is proud of me," she said.