Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cope North Training Coming To The Skies Off Japan’s Coast

A few dozen U.S. and Japanese aircraft will battle in the skies this month off the coast of Japan as part of the Cope North training exercise.
USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63)
U.S. forces from Misawa, Yokota, Kadena, Iwakuni and Atsugi will train with Japanese forces during the exercise, designed to improve the mutual air defense of Japan. Participants are expected to conduct aerial defense and fighter jet combat training in the airspace near Komatsu, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force base on the Sea of Japan. Cope North, held at least twice a year since 1978, generally includes a segment to practice air-to-surface training and another for air-to-air, planners say. The hypothetical war games will combine various tactics and let units work with different aircraft from what they usually see, said Capt. Yvonne Levardi, spokesperson for the Kenney War Fighting Headquarters, part of Pacific Air Forces. The training also will focus on air maneuvers, pitting small, then larger groups of aircraft against each other in mock battles. Participants include about 135 Air Force personnel; 20 Marines and 20 Sailors from Carrier Air Wing 5 aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), which currently is deployed near Okinawa. They will join about 200 people from JASDF. Aircraft include fighter jets, early-warning aircraft and refuelers. In addition to flying and maneuver training, Cope North is aimed at helping both nations improve their working relationships and communications. The exercise runs this week and next.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cruise Ship Rescues 10 Cubans In Tiny Boat

A Celebrity Cruises ship rescued 10 Cubans from a 15-foot boat foundering within sight of Cuba, but the refugees' freedom may be brief, a report said.
Seven men, two women and a 7-year-old girl were plucked from the Florida Straits by the crew of the cruise ship Zenith, which had set sail Thanksgiving Day from Miami. You could see real desperation, passenger Steve Wright told reporters of the group he spotted through his camera lens. Wright said he alerted the Zenith's crew, which turned back to rescue the Cubans. In her brief time aboard the cruise ship, the 7-year-old, known only as Jennifer, won the hearts of passengers, the newspaper reported. The Cubans turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard likely will be returned to Cuba under the United States' so-called dry-foot, wet-foot policy -- only those Cubans that reach land are automatically allowed to remain in the United States.

Friday, November 25, 2005

"Sick" Navy Mascot

A foul-mouthed Royal Navy parrot has swapped a life on the ocean wave for shore leave — on doctor’s orders.
Sunny the parrot began to feel unwell during her long stint as a mascot on board HMS Lancaster. Sailors in the warship feared the worst when the usually lively bird became withdrawn and agitated. The six-year-old African Grey, who has been known to swear at and abuse top brass, became so unhappy that she started to pluck out her feathers. A vet decided that Sunny would benefit from a year or two ashore. Lieutenant Marie Duffy, an officer on board the ship, sent the bird to her parents’ home in South Wales. Sunny appears to be loving the move, sprouting new plumage and even befriending the family cat. Commander James Morley, the Captain of HMS Lancaster, said: “After five years of operational service, Sunny has fully earned her two-year shore draft. It is very much hoped that after this well-earned appointment Sunny will return to frontline operational duties with the fleet.
HMS Lancaster
“This shore draft is entirely in accordance with the Second Sea Lord’s personnel functional standards, which state that no service personnel should be separated from their home for more than 660 days in every three years.”

Monday, November 21, 2005

My Apologies

Due to computer & internet problems my blogs will TEMPORARY be out of commission. I hope to have all the bugs worked out early this week

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gun Turret Replica Placed On USS Monitor Replica

A full-scale replica of the iconic Civil War ironclad USS Monitor has been topped off with a replica of another icon in its own right: the ship's revolutionary revolving gun turret.
Riggers used a crane Tuesday to put the replica turret on the deck of the replica Monitor. It sits next to the USS Monitor Center, a $30 million wing of The Mariners' Museum that's due to open March 9th, 2007 -- the 145th anniversary of the famous first battle of ironclads. The USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia fought to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, changing naval warfare by making wooden ships obsolete. The Confederates built the Virginia on the salvaged hull of a Union ship, the USS Merrimack. The Monitor sank off North Carolina less than a year later. Employees of the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard are building the 170-foot replica of the Monitor in 22 steel sections at the yard, from materials donated by the Navy. Construction of the replica is to be completed early next year.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Court Upholds "The Sailor" Verdict

A federal appeals court upheld a $200,000 judgment against the city of Rockland for liability stemming from the sinking of a scalloping vessel at the municipal fish pier in 2002. The Sailor, a 72-foot scallop dragger owned by Owls Head fisherman Gary Hatch, sank at the fish pier in February 2002 after an exposed bolt on the pier opened a hole in the wooden vessel's hull. Hatch sued the city for failing to properly maintain the pier, and won a $202,000 award from a federal jury in Portland in September 2004. The damages were calculated on the fair market value of the vessel, plus interest, according to court records.
The Sailor sank at the Rockland Municipal Fish Pier in February 2002, after an exposed bolt tore an opening in its hull. A federal appeals court on Nov. 4 upheld a $200,000 judgment against the city for liability in the sinking.
A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, in Washington, D.C. ruled Nov. 4 on the city's appeal for a new trial and reconsideration of the damages awarded to Hatch. The city lost on both counts. "I'm terribly disappointed," Rockland City Manager Tom Hall said. He described the decision as a miscarriage of justice, and said the matter is now in the hands of the city's insurance company for continued action. The remaining step for appeal of the Nov. 4 decision would be the U.S. Supreme Court. "We're pleased that after about three years we think we have a final decision," said Clayton Howard, the Damariscotta attorney representing Hatch. "The city of Rockland neglected its duties as a wharfinger. If someone were sleeping on the boat that night, we would be talking about a loss of life, not just a loss of property." In a 14-page ruling, the judges denied the city's argument for limiting its liability, and gave great weight to the jury's reasoning and verdict. In the case of determining liability, the jury was free to weigh the evidence as long as its verdict was not irrational. As for the damages, the city contested Hatch's testimony about the value of the Sailor, given his financial interest in the outcome. The jury declared the vessel's value at $169,000, with $202,000 as the final damages once interest was calculated. Hatch, according to court records, said his vessel (which he purchased for $35,000 and then refit) was worth between $166,000 and $189,000. Experts testifying for the city gave estimates of much less, between $80,000 and $100,000. The judges said the jury's determination of $169,000, although seemingly generous, was perfectly in its purview to declare. "It appears that the jury was generous in accepting Hatch's estimate over and above the more modest figure offered by Rockland's expert.... Yet this does not show that the jury acted irrationally," they wrote.In sum, the panel said there was little compelling evidence to overturn the jury verdict in Rockland's favor. "This is a close case for apportioning all fault to Rockland, and one's confidence in the result is not increased by the rather generous damages award," the judges wrote. "However, we put our faith in juries to resolve close cases, and although the appeal has been ably briefed, the jury verdict is not irrational." As for the Sailor, Howard said Hatch sold the vessel to another local fisherman, and while being towed in that fisherman's possession, the Sailor sank in the waters near Monroe Island, off Owls Head. And as for Hatch, Howard said his client still fishes locally in a steel-hulled boat.

Rough Water Runs Boat Aground

Hawaii County fire fighters performed a daring rescue Friday morning airlifting a crew of six off a disabled fishing boat after it ran aground in rough seas.
The Seven Stars
It was a fisherman's nightmare. A boat without power and angry ocean swells pushing toward a rocky coast surrounded by sea cliffs. That was the scenario the crew of the Seven Stars faced before sun-up Friday just South of Onomea Bay on the Big Island. The rescue team from the Waiakea Fire Station got the call for help at 4:51 a.m. after the emergency positioning indicating rescue beacon, or EPIRB, on the Seven Stars was set off. When the fire rescue helicopter arrived, pilot Paul Darryl and rescue specialist Garrett Kim found one of the fishermen floating in a life vest several hundred feet from shore. The other five were still on the boat getting batted around by pounding surf. "It was a good thing that all the personnel on board had their life vest on, that they created reflections so as they moved the lights would flicker and then we could spot them completely," Darryl said. When the sun came up, the disabled boat could be seen grinding onto rocks along the rugged coast. "The water conditions caused some problems because it was covering the boat and it was where the entire boat was covered," said fire captain Miles Kawazoe. "Since it was still dark, I had trouble actually seeing the net underneath me. So I had to deploy the net, hover along side, and have the rescue man swim into the net and then I would just pick them up," Darryl added. The 69-foot Seven Stars is based in Honolulu and owned by the Kwang Myong company. Crew tried to explain what happened, but language was a barrier. They indicated they had lost power before running aground. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident. A company has been hired to pump an estimated 700 gallons of diesel fuel off the boat. There is no word yet on whether or not the Seven Stars can be salvaged. The Coast Guard is monitoring the situation and watching to see if the Seven Stars becomes an environmental hazard.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Pirates Seize Thai Ship & Crew Off Somalia

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is reporting the hijack of a Thai-registered merchant ship off Somalia. The 26 crew, mostly Thai, are being held for ransom. The vessel was reportedly carrying sugar from Brazil to Yemen when the hijackers seized teh ship northeast of the Somali capital Mogadishu. It is the same area where hijackers or terrorists attacked a cruise ship last week, firing rocket propelled grenades before the ship managed to outrun the pirates. The United Nations has already urged regional powers to intervene against the threat.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


November 10, 1975 the bulk freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior with all hands. 29 men were lost that night.
The Fitzgerald cleared Superior, Wisconsin, on her last trip on November 9, 1975, with a cargo of 26,116 tons of taconite pellets consigned to Detroit. Traveling down Lake Superior in company with ARTHUR M. ANDERSON of the United States Steel Corporation's Great Lakes Fleet, she encountered heavy weather and in the early evening of November 10th, suddenly foundered approximately 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay (47º North Latitude, 85º 7' West Longitude) Captain McSorley of the "FITZ" had indicated he was having difficulty and was taking on water. She was listing to port and had two of three ballast pumps working. She had lost her radar and damage was noted to ballast tank vent pipes and he was overheard on the radio saying, "don't allow nobody (sic) on deck." McSorley said it was the worst storm he had ever seen. All 29 officers and crew, including a Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadet, went down with the ship, which lies broken in two sections in 530 feet of water. Surveyed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1976 using the U.S. Navy CURV III system, the wreckage consisted of an upright bow section, approximately 275 feet long and an inverted stern section, about 253 feet long, and a debris field comprised of the rest of the hull in between. Both sections lie within 170 feet of each other. The EDMUND FITZGERALD was removed from documentation January, 1976. The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23, 1978 to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands. The U.S. Coast Guard, report on August 2, 1977 cited faulty hatch covers, lack of water tight cargo hold bulkheads and damage caused from an undetermined source.

The brave men who were lost that night:
Captain Ernest M. McSorley, Michael E. Armagost, Fred J. Beetcher, Thomas D. Bentsen, Edward F. Bindon, Thomas D. Borgeson, Oliver J. Champeau, Nolan S. Church, Ransom E. Cundy, Thomas E. Edwards, Russell G. Haskell, George J. Holl, Bruce L. Hudson, Allen G. Kalmon, Gorden Maclellan, Joseph Mazes, John H. McCarthy, Eugene O'Brien, Karl A. Peckol, John J. Poviach, James A. Pratt, Robert C. Rafferty, Paul M. Rippa, John D. Simmons, William J. Spengler, Mark A. Thomas, Ralph G. Walton, David E. Weiss & Blaine H. Wilhelm

Click here to hear the Captain of the Arthur M. Anderson reporting the suspected loss to the Coast Guard that night.

Quick Facts on the Edmund Fitzgerald
Built by Great Lakes Engineering works as Hull 301 at its yard at River Rouge, Michigan. The vessel was launched on June 7, 1958.
Gross Tonnage: 13,632 Registry Number: US 277437
Length: 711.2 Engines Steam Turbine 2 cylinder - 7,500 SHP
Breadth: 75.1 Engine Builder: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Depth: 33.4

The 230th Marine Corps Birthday

No matter where Marines are serving, from the Pentagon and Marine Barracks in Washington, to the loneliest outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marines will stop, shake hands, say happy birthday, sing the Marines' Hymn and, if it is available, have a piece of cake. It doesn't matter to us if its an elaborate cake from some big hotel, a smaller cake from the great cooks aboard ship, or a cookie from an MRE, we're going to celebrate! -Col. Jeff Bearor (USMC)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Irish Sailor Caught Up In Atlantic Yacht Race Rescue

An Irish sailor is caught up in an international rescue operation in the Atlantic Ocean west of France today.
The Foncia
The Irish crewman and his French skipper were on board one of three yachts which got into difficulty during the Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Brazil. Two of the vessels capsized during ferocious sailing conditions west of the Bay of Biscay, while the third lost its masts. The Irishman is on board one of the capsized yachts - the Foncia - and is currently holed up in the hole of the boat in winds of up to 70mph along with the skipper. The pair are both slightly injured, one of them with a broken collar bone, but they are in radio contact with the race organisers. Rescue helicopters from England, Scotland and France have been sent to help the stricken yachts along with a French warship and several merchant and fishing vessels.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Longest Serving Sailor’s Career Honored

About 250 people gathered at Norfolk Naval Station to celebrate the 42-year Naval career of Capt. Stephen T. Smietana, the longest-serving sailor in the Navy. Smietana’s retirement coincided with the disestablishment of his command. The Naval Security Group will become part of the Naval Network Warfare Command, command spokesman John Donaldson said. Smietana, a Florida native, joined the Navy just before combat operations in Vietnam. He graduated from boot camp in November 1963. At the ceremony, Rear Adm. Ned Deets hailed Smietana for his service and noted that he was in second grade when Smietana joined the Navy, Donaldson said. Smietana’s career included stints at 18 duty stations in five countries.

The Eerie Glowing Ocean

For hundreds of years, ship captains in the Indian Ocean have been writing of nighttime voyages through eerie stretches of water -- areas where the surface of the ocean glowed so brightly that sailors could read books on deck at midnight. These milky waters were said to cover thousands of square miles. Marine biologists used to ignore these kinds of reports. Now they don't. A group of satellite photos has changed their minds.
Satellite images captured a large patch of glowing water off the coast of Somalia. The area is about the size of Connecticut, and researchers think billions of glowing bacteria are the source.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Pirates Attack Cruise Ship

A luxury cruise liner has been attacked off the east African coast. A spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruises says pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade and machine guns at the "Seabourn Spirit" today about 100 miles off the coast of Somalia.
Seabourn Spirit
The cruise line says the attackers approached the ship in two 25-foot inflatable boats, and opened fire as they tried to board. Spokesman Bruce Good says the ship managed to outrun the attackers and change course. The 151 passengers, mostly Americans, were gathered in a lounge for safety. The company says one crew member was slightly injured and the ship suffered minor damage. Good says theft is the suspected motive. The liner was on its way from Egypt to Kenya when it was attacked. It's expected to stop in the Seychelles, then continue on to Singapore.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Stowaways Dead On Perth Australia Bound Ship

2 Moroccan stowaways have been found dead in the cargo hold of a ship heading for Perth four weeks after a desperate bid for a new life overseas.
Furness Karumba
The men had apparently suffocated and were found by the crew when they heard noises coming from the sealed hold full of fertiliser, Australian news reported. The noises were made by two other men, fellow stowaways who survived but are said to be in a distressed state. The crew on the bulk carrier Furness Karumba left the Moroccan port of Laayoure on October 7. It was about 1850 km from the West Australian coast, headed for the industrial port of Kwinana, 20 km south of Perth, Customs regional director Paul O'Connor told reporters. It is scheduled to arrive on November 14. Mr O'Connor said the cause of the men's death was not known and the state coroner is expected to be involved in the investigation. The crew have been instructed not to unload the cargo of rock phosphate as police were treating the ship as a crime scene. Mr O'Connor said the crew had alerted the authorities to the men's death.

Friday, November 04, 2005

South African Navy Receives New Submarine

The South African Navy took delivery in Germany on Thursday of the first of its three new, German-built diesel-electric submarines. The 62-metre vessel, the S 101, is expected to be sailed by its own crew to South Africa once training is completed in Germany.
Type 209 Submarine
The submarine, packed with advanced equipment, is a Type 209, of which 63 are currently in service with various navies around the world. It requires a crew of 30 and South Africa aims to have a racial balance on board reflecting that within its society. South Africa placed the order in 2000 with a consortium of three German companies, HDW, Nordseewerken Emden and MAN Ferrostaal. It was part of a major modernisation package for the navy including the retirement of its previous fleet of Daphne submarines two years ago. Defence Minister Mosioua Lekota travelled to Kiel, the northern German port city where the S 101 was built, for the handover. The HDW dockyard in the city is now owned by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany, which described the "209 1400 mod", to give the type its full designation, as the world's most exported diesel-electric submarine. The South African Navy said earlier that most crew would train in Germany, but in addition, 20 oficers were undergoing submarine combat and engineering training in India.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

One Missing, 30 Hurt In Ship Fire Near Egypt Port

Thirty people were injured and one crew member was missing after a fire on a passenger ship near the Egyptian port of Hurghada, a source at the Red Sea Port Authority said today. The 'Al Kafeen', sailing under a Panamanian flag, was returning with 57 crew from Hurghada to the Saudi port of Jeddah when a fire started in the engine room, the source said. No passengers were on board at the time. Three weeks ago, at least one person was killed and more than 35 were injured in a collision between a cargo ship and a ship carrying about 1 250 Muslim pilgrims from Saudi Arabia in the Gulf of Suez.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Fighting Postal Clerk

When you think of a Marine who isn’t an infantryman being deployed to a combat zone, your first thought would be they’ll only be there for about six to eight months and then they’ll never have to go again.
Marine Postal Clerk, Sgt. Phillip H. Cuppernell
For Sgt. Phillip H. Cuppernell, Postal Clerk, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, six to eight months is a small portion of the time he’s spent in combat situations. “To be honest, the best part about my Marine Corps experience, so far, has been being deployed,” said Cuppernell. “It may seem like a cliché, but I originally joined the Marine Corps, because I wanted to do something that I could be proud of and show thanks to my country.” Cuppernell has spent 22 months in Iraq since he left Cobleskill College, where he studied computer programming and began his transformation from an everyday college student to one of the “few and proud.” “I was in Iraq from February 2003 until September 2003,” said 24-year-old Marine. “Then I received orders to go back in January 2004, and didn’t return this time until March of 2005. It was a crazy long time.” Cuppernell described his life while deployed as a lot simpler than life back in garrison. “The uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen to you the next day -- much less the next five minutes -- is a pretty scary feeling when deployed,” admitted Cuppernell, a Williamson High School graduate. “I missed my family a lot, but the hardest part of my deployments, for me, was losing friends and seeing good people get hurt. That’s a rough situation.” Cuppernell said that being in a combat zone is a “big wake-up call” and is quite different from when you’re laid back on the couch, safe at home. “I’m actually trying to get deployed again as soon as possible,” said the self-proclaimed motivated mailman. “I’d rather be in Iraq then in my office. I didn’t join the Marines to sit behind a desk.” According to the Williamson, N.Y. native, when a Marine is deployed, it makes him or her feel like they’re actually doing something worth doing. “It’s the real Marine Corps, when you’re deployed,” Cuppernell said. “Marines in the infantry get to experience the real Marine Corps with their training, but POGs (people other than grunts) don’t get all those experiences.” Cuppernell, a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program brown-belt instructor, said his parents supported him throughout his Marine Corps career. “My parents were all for me joining,” said Cuppernell. “My mom didn’t understand why I kept volunteering to go to Iraq. She wasn’t a big fan of having guns pointed at me and having bullets being shot over my head. I guess, all in all, she just didn’t want her little boy in harm’s way. She didn’t understand that this was the happiest I’ve been since I joined the Marine Corps -- especially when I got promoted while I was over there.” Cuppernell said his worst experience, thus far, in the Corps has been to witness the change in the younger Marines. “The Marine Corps has changed a lot, even in the short amount of time I’ve been in -- I’ve seen it,” said Cuppernell. “The younger Marines need to take things more seriously. They don’t understand that everything can always be better. A Marine can always improve himself and help Marines assigned under them.” Uncertain about what he wants to do in the future, Cuppernell said he would like to go into the drill field and to someday be a warrant officer and get his degree. “I love being a Marine,” said Cuppernell. “I’m unsure, as of now, whether or not I’m going to reenlist.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What’s Ahead For The Yokosuka Naval Base Carrier Presence

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier planned for Yokosuka Naval Base in 2008 will be faster, safer and better able to counter threats in the region, U.S. officials said.
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
U.S. Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer and Commander of Naval Forces Japan Rear Adm. James D. Kelly spoke to reporters following the Navy’s announcement that it will replace the aging fossil-fuel-powered USS Kitty Hawk with a Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered ship. “The United States believes that a nuclear-powered carrier forward deployed in the Pacific will significantly contribute to the peace and stability of Japan, the United States and the entire region,” Schieffer said. “It is time to bring a more modern carrier to Japan.” The 44-year-old Kitty Hawk is slow to get going, requires regular replenishment at sea and — Navy leaders say — poses less of a deterrent than its replacement will. The new carrier, which has yet to be announced, will carry with it the Navy’s most modern technology. “The assignment of a Nimitz-class carrier to the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed forces absolutely is the right thing to do for the U.S.-Japan alliance, for the defense of Japan and the security of the western Pacific region,” Kelly said. “The security environment here in the western Pacific region increasingly requires that the U.S. Navy station the most capable ships forward.” The new ship not only will start faster, but won’t require top-offs along the way and therefore will arrive at locations a day sooner per week than the Kitty Hawk could, Kelly said Friday in an interview with Stars and Stripes. And once there, it will be capable of sustaining operations twice as long as the Kitty Hawk, he added. During the tsunami relief mission last year, Kelly commanded the carrier strike groups in the region, including the Kitty Hawk and the nuclear-powered USS Abraham Lincoln, which flew relief missions for six weeks near Indonesia. When the Lincoln was dispatched to Indonesia from Hong Kong, it arrived a day sooner than the Kitty Hawk could have and did not require replenishment during its entire mission, Kelly said. Without the need for petroleum fuel to operate, the ship can carry more aviation fuel and weapons. It also brings more modern command-and-control and communications technology and greater survivability and damage control. “All of that amounts to putting our best foot forward,” Kelly said.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68)
Nimitz-class carriers are 75 feet longer, 2 feet deeper and weigh about 10,000 pounds more than the Kitty Hawk. And the replacement carrier’s flight deck will be 10 percent larger, allowing more planes or more space between planes during congested, chaotic flight operations, Kelly said. “It clearly gives us a safety advantage,” Kelly said. Nuclear-powered carriers in general need to refuel their reactors once every 20 years, compared to refuelings once every four days to keep the Kitty Hawk’s engines running, according to research and naval groups that have published studies on the carriers. The Kitty Hawk travels less than two feet for every gallon of fuel burned. Less reliance on fossil fuels also means far less likelihood of spilling oil into waters, an occasional occurrence at Yokosuka, Kelly said. For sailors, the new ship means far better living, Kelly said, with more lounges, better air conditioning and modern kitchens. Better water-making technology and energy availability will bring the capability for long hot showers, a rarity for Kitty Hawk sailors. Despite the advantages, the decision to select a nuclear-powered replacement for the Kitty Hawk wasn’t taken lightly, Kelly said, but it is essential. “It brings our most capable ships with the greatest amount of striking power if necessary, in the timeliest manner, to any regional crisis,” he said.

USS Kitty Hawk

Commissioned in 1961, it is the oldest active-duty warship in the Navy and as
such, carries the First Navy Jack “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

Power plant: Eight boilers, four geared steam turbines, four
shafts, 280,000 shaft horsepower.

Overall length: 1062.5 feet.

Flight deck width: 252 feet.

Beam: 130 feet.

Displacement: Approximately 80,800 tons.

Speed: more than 30 knots (34.5 mph).

Aircraft: 85.

Crew: Ship’s company, 3,150. Air wing, 2,480.

Armament: Sea Sparrow launchers, three 20 mm Phalanx Close-In
Weapons System mounts.

Cost at construction in 1961: $265.2 million.


  • Eight decks and 11 levels.

  • Carries 4 million gallons of fuel and produces 14 million watts
    of power.

  • Has more than 2,400 spaces and compartments.

  • Has two inoperable, obsolete escalators, designed to carry
    suited pilots.

Nimitz-class carriers

Power Plant: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts.

Length: 1,092 feet.

Flight deck width: 252 feet.

Beam: 134 feet.

Displacement: 97,000 tons.

Speed: More than 30 knots (34.5 mph).

Aircraft: 85.

Cost: About $4.5 billion each.

Armament: Two or three (depending on modification)
NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts.


  • Towers 20 stories above the waterline with a 4.5-acre
    flight deck.

  • Steering accomplished by two rudders, each 29 feet by 22
    feet and weighing 50 tons.

The Nimitz class includes:

  • USS Nimitz (CVN 68), San Diego.

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Norfolk, Va.

  • USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Bremerton, Wash.

  • USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Norfolk, Va.

  • USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Everett, Wash.

  • USS George Washington (CVN 73), Norfolk, Va.

  • USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Bremerton, Wash.

  • USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Norfolk, Va.

  • USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), San Diego.

  • USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) (under construction; expected to
    be completed in 2008).

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