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Posted: 1/21/2002 12:21:31 AM EDT
CH 13 NEWS, NORFOLK 17 JAN 02 Navy Secretary discusses USS TR - JFK issue The Secretary of the Navy is talking about the condition of the USS John F. Kennedy and how her status could delay the return of the Norfolk-based USS Theodore Roosevelt. She's due home from the Arabian Sea in mid-March. On Thursday, Secretary Gordon England was in Suffolk visiting the Joint Warfighting Center. He blamed the problems on longstanding neglect. "Apparently, over the years, the work wasn't done that should've been done as part of major overhauls. One thing we've learned is that deferring maintenance just causes more problems in the future," the secretary said. Inspectors found numerous problems aboard JFK, including 3 of its 4 elevators not working 2 of its catapults rated as "degraded." The ship's overall firefighting capability graded as "seriously degraded." Top-side corrosion on the ship being the "worst observed in three years." The ship's captain was relieved of duty last month because of the problems. Secretary Gordon also said the war requires that all schedules are in flux and the sailors understand.
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