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Old March 23rd, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Default USS Kennedy being decommissioned

After almost 4 decades, USS Kennedy being decommissioned
BY RON WORD


ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER


MAYPORT, Fla. -- Sailors in blue lined the deck of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy on Friday as guns boomed to commemorate the decommissioning of "Big John" after nearly 40 years of service.

Officers gathered in front of a screen displaying a large American flag, and speakers echoed the words of the carrier's namesake, including the famed line from President Kennedy's 1961 inauguration: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

"What a bittersweet day," said Capt. Todd Zecchin, the Kennedy's final commmanding officer. "It is a glorious breath of life we've filled the ship with."

The Kennedy launched aircraft into hot spots around the globe during its service, including both Iraq wars. At 1,050 feet long, it carried a crew of about 4,600 and 70 combat aircraft.

The ship was christened in May 1967 by Kennedy's then 9-year-old daughter, Caroline, and entered Navy service the next year.

The warship's in-port cabin was designed by Jacqueline Kennedy and is the only room on a U.S. Navy ship with wood paneling, officials said. Among its pictures is one showing the president sailing with his daughter.

The cabin will be headed to a Navy museum. The carrier will be towed to Philadelphia, where it will be placed on inactive status.

Chief Petty Officer Aaron Shelenberger, 39, plans to retire shortly after the Kennedy is decommissioned.

A native of the Philippines, Shelenberger became a U.S. citizen earlier this month. He sang the national anthem at a naturalization ceremony aboard the Kennedy when it made its final port call in Boston, the home of the 35th president.

"I'm part of history," Shelenberger said. "With the Kennedy, it's special. You are part of the closing of this chapter."

One of two remaining fossil fuel-powered aircraft carriers in the Navy, the ship supported Operation Desert Shield in Iraq in 1990, and was deployed in February 2002 to the North Arabian Sea during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

It also supported Operation Iraqi Freedom in June 2004, and its airwing dropped more than 54,000 pounds of bombs on Iraq.

The Kennedy, based in Florida since 1995, recently served as a training platform for Navy pilots to obtain carrier landing qualification. The Navy suspended the ship's flight operations about a year ago, citing faulty landing equipment.

---

On the Net:

USS John F. Kennedy: http://navysite.de/cvn/cv67.htm">http://navysite.de/cvn/cv67.htm
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:06 PM
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It is sad, but a new day is dawning in the deployment of United States' aircraft carrier. The upcoming carrier, George H. Bush, is a marvel and the trendsetter for carriers to come..
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Michael,

The Bush-class carriers will be the first U.S. Navy warships not built to Panamax standards. They will be the first ships not able to fit into the locks of the canal.

I'm curious as to how the Navy will deploy these ships. If you want to send several carriers to a global hot-spot, transiting them trough the canal saves a lot of time. If the new carriers can't use the canal, then you have fewer of them to send to the hot-spot. And from what I've read on the Navy's website, the Navy isn't really enlarging its carrier force.

I suppose that the thinking is that, since the new carriers are so much larger than the Nimitz-class, and carry many more aircraft, then you don't need as many of them deployed to the hot-spot.

Dean
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 04:03 PM
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For your reading enjoyment (and education )

Nimitz (CVN-68), the lead ship of the class, was commissioned in 1975. As of 2006, George H. W. Bush (CVN-77), the tenth and last of the class, was built by Northrop Grumman Newport News and will enter service in 2008. Bush will be the first transition ship to the Ford class, the first ship of which is to start construction in 2007 and will incorporate new technologies including a new multi-function radar system, volume search radar and open architecture information network, and a significantly reduced crew requirement. To lower costs some new technologies were incorporated into Ronald Reagan, though not nearly as many as will be involved with Bush.

Enterprise is currently homeported at Norfolk, Virginia. As one of the oldest carriers in the fleet, she is scheduled for decommissioning in 2014-2015. Her intended replacement is the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Her current commanding officer is Captain Lawrence Rice.

The keel for the tenth and last Nimitz Class, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), was laid in September 2003. The carrier was christened in October 2006 and will enter service in 2009. The vessel has a modernised island house with new radar tower and transparent armour windows as well as upgraded navigation and communications systems. It will also have a new aircraft launch and recovery system and JP-5 fuel system for improved storage and handling of aircraft fuel.

This will be the first transition ship to a new class of carriers, CVN 78 (formerly known as CVN 21 and CVNX), planned for construction start in 2007 and delivery in 2014. Northrop Grumman Newport News will be the prime contractor for the program and Raytheon will be responsible for weapons system integration. CVN 78 will incorporate new technologies including a new multi-function radar system, volume search radar and open architecture information network, providing a significantly reduced crew requirement, and a new nuclear power plant.

So, the Gerald Ford will be the next class.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 04:05 PM
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cool and class dismissed! TGIF .
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Ms. Black Jack

I remember when this ship first saw duty. Wonder how long it will be before I am decomm.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 05:36 PM
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Luanne, I know of a certain service man (GOD Bless Him) who is willing and able to keep the service up for you for eternity.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 05:37 PM
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I hope so Michael!!!!
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 05:52 PM
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No worry
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Hi
The first sub my younger son served aboard was the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, which accompanied the USS John. F Kennedy in the Med. It supposedly fired the first Tomahawk Missile of the first Persian Gulf War. (I read it in a magazine!). I learned at some point that the sub was getting its mail from the carrier and I went AHA! All communication stopped the first day of the WAR and resumed as I expected when the sub arrived back in Norfolk at the end of its 6 month deployment.

My husband, Trevor, served aboard the USS Enterprise way back when it was a brand new carrier. He is sad to hear that it will be decomissioned--but one doesn't realize how many years have rolled by until that day comes. He also served on the Kittyhawk.

Michael, I believe that we will always be in HIS service.

Lynne
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Facts aside....and very accurate in addition to interesting.
The only other fossil fueled carrier left is the Kitty Hawk stationed in Japan. Japan will not allow nuclear plants in her waters.
Having been personally involved in JFK's last upgrade in Mayport, FL I had to ask why we were holding onto her so long......the reason:
Last Carrier to be named after a Democrat.
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Old March 24th, 2007, 03:31 AM
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Michael,

Woops, got my Presidents mixed up! The Ford-class is the next class of carrier, as you mentioned.

The Navy's website has some interesting renderings of the new ships, along with some specifications.

Still wondering how all this is going to work out.

Dean
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Old March 24th, 2007, 03:35 AM
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I wasn't poking at ya, I enjoy the Naval armadas and if I was able to as a young man, I wanted to be a Navy flier. Alas, it was not to be. In fact, my most favorite movie of all time is FINAL COUNTDOWN.
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Old March 24th, 2007, 03:46 AM
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Michael,

I actually have the Final Countdown in my collection. I think it a superior movie to Top Gun.

Dean
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Old March 24th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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Dean, I am still trying to figure out how the Commander was on board in the modern times as a young man, but also, in modern times as an older man as the builder of the carrier. Can you figure that one out or is it up to the imagination of film?
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Old March 24th, 2007, 04:13 AM
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Michael,

There are two main theories of time travel. One states that if you travel back in time, you create an alternate timeline for each time you go back. This is the theory that the Back to the Future movies operate under.

The other theory states that you don't create alternate timelines, but that you change the existing timeline when you go back. This is the theory that the Final Countdown operates under.

So when Cmdr Owen goes back to 1941, it doesn't affect him. In other words, he is still the same person, but is now in a different time. It also doesn't affect his younger self either. So from the time the older Owen arrives in the limo at Pearl Harbor, to the time the younger Owen goes back to 1941, there are two of him existing at the same time. So in effect he was able to watch himself go off on the voyage.

Interestingly, it was Cmdr Owen who designed and built the carrier his younger self would eventually serve on. If he had not brought 1980 knowlege back with him to 1941, the Nimitz-class carriers would never have been designed and built.

Interesting to ponder, huh?

Dean
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Old March 24th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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, Yes, that is interesting. I listen to Coast To Coast AM and they occassionally get time travelers (or so they claim) on and they state that as one travels back in time, they cannot change the future as perviously thought.

We do travel in time anyways, constantly.

By the time you finished reading this article that I wrote back to you, you traveled forward in time, to 20 seconds ahead. Incredible, isn't it?

Not beiing a smart a$$, just staing fact.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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The Final Countdown is an awesome movie and one of my favorites,as well. Since Trevor served on carriers, he can relate to it ,too. Thank you for explaining the time travel theories--it really is a lot to ponder.I can always tell when it's on TV by the music.

I remember "Doc" trying to explain all of it to Marty and cautioned him not to run into his "other" self.

Another fine time travel movie is "Somewhere in Time" starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. I know "The Time Machine" is good, too.

All of this is interesting stuff!!

Lynne
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Old March 25th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Yep, time travel is interesting. About the Kitty Hawk, she is due to be decommissioned very soon herself.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 03:04 PM
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Never sailed on any of these ships, which lines in the cruise world did they belong to?

How do you book for the George H Bush? Which direction is it sailing or has that still to be determined? Can you get a flight directly to it?
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Old March 25th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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David, I'm certain that you can sign up for the Geroge H. Bush and maybe even be one of the first on board. Just call the U.S. Navy and I am certain they can place you onboard.

But then, you knew that anyways.
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