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Fly the flag

— Hong Kong


Despite the pressures of new technology in its own ranks and a fast-developing Chinese navy sailing into view, the ‘USS George Washington’ continues to rule the Asia-Pacific seas. Monocle climbs aboard the American aircraft carrier.

David A Lausman, South China Sea, USS George Washington

One hundred thousand tonnes of old-fashioned hard power have just dropped anchor in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, creating a steel-grey island in the wider blue. It is a US Navy supercarrier, one of the world’s most potent military machines; its cargo is a mobile air force of over 70 planes and helicopters, and some 5,500 crew. Alone, it outguns most national air forces.

Meet the USS George Washington, unique among the American fleet of 11 aircraft carriers, and the lead ship of the US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 5. Unlike its sister ships, which…


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