A Mason alum is at the helm of one of the world’s largest floating fortresses.
In March, Navy Capt. Brian E. Luther, MBA ’04, was officially named commanding officer of the navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush .
Formerly the commanding officer of the smaller USS Tarawa amphibious assault ship, Luther’s new job is quite a step up, indeed, considering the size of the USS Bush, named for the 41st president.
The ship spans more than 1,000 feet in length and is home to a crew of about 6,000 sailors.
Homeported in Norfolk, Va., the carrier cost more than $6 billion to build, and was completed and christened in 2009  after more than five years of construction. It was the tenth and last Nimitz-class carrier the navy intends to build.
This spring, Luther, who replaced Capt. Chip Miller III as commanding officer, is scheduled to take the ship on its first official deployment.
“Over the past month, I’ve seen that George H.W. Bush is a respected, well-trained, professional command that is ready to serve our nation in a time of war,” Luther told his crew at the change-of-command ceremony on March 17. “Under Capt. Miller, you have accomplished much and done it exceptionally well. It is my honor and my privilege to be your commanding officer.”
A decorated pilot, Luther has flown more than 3,400 flight hours and has accumulated 825 carrier landings since beginning his naval aviation career in 1986. A native of Michigan, Luther was also previously the executive officer on the board the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier.