Nobody Wants a Naked Aircraft Carrier

 “To put it simply, countries that aspire to strategic international influence have aircraft carriers.”

-Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, former head of the Royal Navy

070814-N-6106R-148 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug.14, 2007) - USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Groups transit in formation during a joint photo exercise (PHOTOEX) during exercise Valiant Shield 2007. The aerial formation consists of aircraft from the carrier strike groups as well as Air Force aircraft. The strike groups are participating in Valiant Shield 2007, the largest joint exercise in the Pacific this year. Held in the Guam operating area, the exercise includes 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephen W. Rowe (RELEASED)

USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Groups transit in formation.

True. When the United States decides to impress someone with military capabilities, it sends a carrier strike group to sail around. That’s a powerful projection of force, and it projects a message as well.

At the beginning of World War II, the symbol of naval military power was the battleship. But by the end of the war, battleships were used almost exclusively for shore bombardment prior to an amphibious assault. The centerpoint of seapower became the aircraft carrier.

Funny thing, though. If you put an aircraft carrier up against a battleship, the aircraft carrier won’t last very long. The aircraft carrier is a platform. To do its job, it needs support ships for logistics and protection, it needs information from multiple sources, and it needs aircraft.

When someone puts all their money into a website, they want it to deliver a message, to engage an audience, to project their identity into places far away from their office. We have been told websites have all this power to reach across the web and find the people who want what we are selling.

But if you put all your money into the website itself, without investing even more into the web content strategy, content creation process, search engine optimization, and social media components, what you have is an empty aircraft carrier with no support ships.

110909-N-ZZ999-001 INDIAN OCEAN (Sept. 9, 2011) An F/A-18 Hornet lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Walter M. Wayman/Released)

An F/A-18 Hornet lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).