STAR-BULLETIN / 2001
The USS Kitty Hawk has its home port in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo.
Navy exercise features USS Kitty Hawk
Navy’s oldest ship to take a bow at war games
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More than 20,000 military personnel from 10 nations will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific naval exercises in Hawaiian waters later this month.
The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, the oldest ship in the Navy, will take part in the exercises, June 29 through July 31, the Navy announced yesterday. Initially, the carrier USS George Washington was supposed to be the major U.S. warship, but it was damaged by a fire last month.
This year's exercise will involve forces from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
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The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, the oldest active ship in the Navy, will be one of 35 warships participating in massive naval war games in Hawaii waters starting at the end of the month.
The Rim of the Pacific War Games
When: June 29-July 31
Where: Hawaii waters
Who: 10 countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States
Equipment: 35 ships, six submarines, more than 150 aircraft
Commander: Vice Adm. Samuel J. Locklear
Purpose: To prepare forces to be interoperable and ready for a wide range of potential combined and joint operations and missions
Source: U.S. Navy
The Kitty Hawk, which was first deployed in 1961 and is due to be decommissioned next year, is the Navy's only carrier that is conventionally powered, as opposed to nuclear powered.
In the RIMPAC maneuvers, it will replace the carrier USS George Washington, damaged May 22 in a fire at sea. The 1,092-foot Washington is in San Diego for repairs.
Initially, the two carriers were supposed to swap crews at Pearl Harbor since the Washington will replace the Kitty Hawk as the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier in the Pacific, stationed at Yokosuka, Japan. About 2,700 sailors left Japan May 28 on the Kitty Hawk.
Held since 1971, the RIMPAC exercise is the biggest multinational naval exercise in the Pacific. This year's exercise, involving 10 nations, will fall under the command of Vice Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, commander of the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet.
U.S. NAVY PHOTO
The USS Kitty Hawk is coming to Hawaii waters for naval war games at the end of the month. The Navy's oldest ship will be decommissioned next year after 47 years of service, 10 of which have been in Yokosuka, Japan.
During the five-week naval war games, the Pacific Rim countries will participate in sea drills and training that will include live missile firings, torpedo launches, gunnery exercises, air defense, surface and undersea warfare, maritime interception operations, boardings, mine warfare, diving and amphibious operations. The war games are designed to prepare Pacific Rim forces to work together on a wide range of potential operations and missions.
The Navy said the names of the other U.S. warships will be released next week. A partial list of ships, aircraft and units already released by foreign navies includes:
» South Korea: two destroyers, one submarine, patrol combat corvettes and anti-submarine attack helicopters.
» Canada: two warships, a light infantry company and reinforcements, air force CF-18 tactical fighter jets, CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft, CC-130 air-to-air refueling aircraft and CH-124 Sea King maritime surveillance helicopter.
» Australia: two destroyers, one submarine, an oiler and a dive ship.
More than 900 of Kitty Hawk's crew will be cross-decking to George Washington between June and January; about 423 sailors are expected to transfer before July 15. The number of sailors remaining as part of the crew will quickly drop from about 1,400 on its arrival in Bremerton, Wash., to about 600 by October.
The Kitty Hawk, commanded by Capt. Todd Zecchin, will be decommissioned Jan. 31 in Bremerton. The carrier is now at Guam.