Aircraft carriers are the mightiest class of U.S. Navy vessels. But most people don't realize that in addition to transporting an awesome air arsenal, each of these ocean-going cities prowls the high seas with an entourage of up to 15 additional vessels. In the event of hostilities, these "carrier battle groups" allow nothing to violate their personal space-areas often measured in hundreds of square miles. The individual roles of nuclear submarines, the cruisers that coordinate carrier-based air power, the aircraft themselves, anti-submarine vessels and, of course, the carriers are all discussed and depicted in exclusive action photography. In addition, author Steve Tomajczyk addresses criticisms of carriers as wasteful and outmoded; explains how a carrier battle group-the U.S. Navy's most powerful operating unit-defends itself from attacks; and compares the firepower wielded by a typical carrier battle group to that of potential adversaries.