Nimitz-class carrier takes Battle Bracket crown

Kevin Lilley, Army Times

Military Times voters made their choice clear in this year’s Battle Bracket: There’s the aircraft carrier, and then there’s everything else.

The Nimitz-class flattop destroyed the A-10 Thunderbolt II (“Warthog”) in the final round of our March Madness-style elimination tournament to determine the best piece of military hardware. The carrier claimed more than 72 percent of the final tally in the most-voted-upon matchup of the bracket, downing the close-air-support provider that has put up some of the tourney’s most lopsided wins.

The carrier was no slouch in that department, either, piling up more than 67 percent of the vote in each of its six victories. Two wins came over submarine classes (Virginia and Ohio) and another came at the expense of the America-class amphibious assault ship. The carrier downed the Close-In Weapons System to reach the semifinals, then bested the Abrams tank to reach the title match.

The Abrams breezed past other land-based systems into the semis, while the Warthog’s path through the Air Region included wins over the B-52 Stratofortress and the AH-64 Apache. The Mk 19 grenade machine gun also earned a regional title, defeating the Marine “knife hand” in an eclectic group that included the Army poncho liner (“Woobie”) and a bottle of Motrin.

More than 118,000 votes were cast throughout the tournament, which ran parallel with the NCAA men’s basketball championship. Entrants were selected by Military Times staff and outside experts, with the help of reader submissions.

Check out the full bracket here.

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