A. Beck, a crew member of the
Kitty Hawk remembers the Kawishiwi well,
I spent a few days on the Kawishiwi in mid 1966. The visit was not voluntary but I encountered some very nice people. I was lowered from a Kitty Hawk helicopter to the Kawishiwi as my discharge date was in May 1966 and the Kitty Hawk was not scheduled to leave Yankee station for a lengthy period. The Kawishiwi was scheduled to port in the Philippines in time for my return to the States and discharge.
This was a thrill as the Kawishiwi was empty and the seas were rough. She was bobbing like a cork and finally a deckhand caught me as I went swinging by and released the sling.
I had to bunk above deck under a tarp as no berthing space was available and that was no fun, especially the nights with rain.I was on the Kitty Hawk from September 62-May 66. I am just outside of Huntsville Alabama (Union Grove).
Warm Regards, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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||Capt. Todd Zecchin, new commanding officer
the USS Kitty Hawk, brings with him firsthand knowledge of what it's
decommission a conventionally-powered aircraft carrier. Zecchin's
position was skipper of the John F. Kennedy, which was decommissioned
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Decommissioning aircraft carriers doesn’t happen that often, says Capt. Todd Zecchin. Even so, Zecchin may see two decommissioning ceremonies in back-to-back Navy tours.Zecchin was commanding officer of the USS John F. Kennedy, when it was decommissioned March 23.
Last week he took the helm of USS Kitty Hawk, which departed Yokosuka Naval Base on Wednesday for an extended deployment. Though Kitty Hawk has not received official decommission notice, the 46-year-old ship is scheduled to be replaced by the nuclear-powered USS George Washington next summer.“It’s just timing,” Zecchin said Tuesday of his assignments to the Navy’s last two non-nuclear powered carriers.
Decommissioning the Kennedy taught him a bit about what Kitty Hawk sailors and families may experience in coming years, he said.But the situations between the two ships differ, said Zecchin. The Florida-based JFK was regulated for use as a training platform before its final tour. Kitty Hawk, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, will keep to a high operational tempo before “turning over” with its replacement.
“We’re going to have to take everything in stages and steps,” Zecchin said. “You have to stay focused on the ‘wolf closest to the fire.’”For Kitty Hawk, that means keeping to its schedule of deployments and maintenance periods, while also making sure the crew and their families have what they need to make the transition in 2008, he said.
The turnover will be conducted in Hawaii before the Hawk continues on to San Diego. If the ship is decommissioned there, it will eventually be towed and “deactivated” in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Wash.Decommissioning an aircraft carrier is a big job, Zecchin said, as the Kitty Hawk has more than 2,600 spaces.
“In a ship as big as this, decommissioning takes a lot of time, effort and people power. It’s not like the crew leaves the ship on decommission day. That’s just the day the ship is released from Navy commission … there’s still a lot of work to do."
070731-N-4953E-003 PACIFIC OCEAN (July 31, 2007) - The USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) performs a connected replenishment (CONREP) with Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194). The Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group just completing Talisman Saber 07, an exercise designed to maintain a high level of interoperability between U.S. and Australian forces, demonstrating the U.S. and Australian commitment to our military alliance and regional security. U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Danny Ewing Jr. (RELEASED)
The oldest active ship in the U.S. Navy, the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, made its final departure from Japan on Wednesday to be decommissioned after nearly half a century of service. The Kitty Hawk, with sailors lining its decks, pulled away from Yokosuka port just south of Tokyo to the cheers of hundreds of schoolchildren and the sounds of brass bands. The Kitty Hawk, the last conventionally powered aircraft carrier in the Navy, is to be replaced later this summer by the USS George Washington, a nuclear-powered carrier. After leaving Japan, the Kitty Hawk will make a stop at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and then travel on to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, to be decommissioned.
The ship, commissioned in 1961 and the only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in the Navy, was assigned to Japan in 1998. It has since made 20 deployments in the western Pacific and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq. It was the oldest active ship with the longest total period of active service in the Navy. "Since it arrived in August 1998, the Kitty Hawk has been a visible symbol of strength in a rapidly changing world," U.S. Ambassador to Tokyo Thomas Schieffer said. "Goodbye Kitty Hawk, hello George Washington."The Kitty Hawk and its battle group are the centerpiece of the 7th Fleet, the largest in the Navy, with 40 to 50 ships, 120 aircraft and about 20,000 sailors and Marines. Roughly 21 of the ships are based in Japan and the Pacific island of Guam, while the others rotate out of ports in Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast. Along with the other 7th Fleet ships, the battle group in Yokosuka, once a major Imperial Japanese Navy hub, has a huge area of responsibility - covering 52 million square miles (135 million square kilometers) of the Pacific and Indian oceans, from the international dateline to the east coast of Africa. Japan's leadership strongly backs the U.S. military presence in the country, and says the more than 50,000 U.S. troops in Japan are a stabilizing force for all of Asia. However, the replacement of the Kitty Hawk by a nuclear-powered ship is controversial among some here because of fears of an accident. Navy officials have stressed that the ship is safe, and pointed out that nuclear-powered submarines have long transited Yokosuka with no problems.
Sailors who are remaining with Kitty Hawk, yet
cross-decking to George Washington after July 15, will continue to
cost-of-living allowance for
WASHINGTON — House officials want to explore the possibility of bringing the USS John F. Kennedy or USS Kitty Hawk back into service in five years to keep the Navy’s carrier fleet at full force. During debate on their draft of next year’s defense budget authorization, the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to study the cost and logistics of reactivating the carriers after their decommissioning over the next few years. At issue is the Navy’s request to drop below the congressionally mandated 11-carrier fleet in 2012, when the USS Enterprise is taken out of service. It will be replaced by USS Gerald R. Ford, the newest carrier from the class of the same name, but Navy officials have said it won’t be commissioned until 2015 at the earliest.<>