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Posted: 2/20/2007 5:03:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 12:23:58 PM EST by KA3B]
Was: Navy awards $15 million contract for USS Kennedy inactivation work, decommissioning set for March

Farewell, JFK

Navy officials have awarded a $15 million contract to Earl Industries of Jacksonville, Fla., to conduct inactivation work on the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy.

The move ends any speculation as to where JFK’s inactivation work would begin. Officials considered doing the work either at the Kennedy’s existing pier site at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., or taking the ship to Norfolk, Va. Another option sought to split the work between the two locations.

But now it’s confirmed that JFK will return to Mayport in early March from its final cruise to Boston and stay until August.

Earl Industries will be in charge of deactivating installed machinery, including various types of pumps, the catapult systems, elevators and the ship’s diesel generators, by draining it of water, fuel and oil.

Though the ship will not officially leave active service until Sept. 30, Navy officials plan to hold a decommissioning ceremony in Mayport on March 23.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:05:07 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:06:09 PM EST
Ding dong, the money pit is gone.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:06:39 PM EST
USS Kennedy to make final visit to Norfolk
dlerman@tribune.com 202-824-8224
February 20, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Before retiring next month, the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier will take a farewell tour that includes a brief visit to Hampton Roads and a port call in Boston to pay tribute to the Kennedy family.

The 38-year-old carrier will arrive in Norfolk on Thursday to unload a flight-deck crane and other equipment in preparation for its decommissioning, said Navy spokesman Mike Maus of Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet.

The ship will not be open to the public during its stay at Norfolk Naval Station, a visit that lasts until Monday, Maus said. But a public celebration of the carrier's life is planned for next week in Boston - the unofficial adopted homeport of the JFK.

While details have yet to be finalized, the Navy is planning a reception for invited guests on board the Kennedy one evening next week and a visit by some members of the Kennedy family. The ship will be open to the public during its Boston visit.

Named for the nation's 35th president, the Kennedy was built by Newport News Shipbuilding - the forerunner of Northrop Grumman Newport News - and joined the fleet in 1968. Once based in Norfolk, it has been stationed in Mayport, Fla., for more than a decade.

The Kennedy - nicknamed the "Big John" - has been plagued by maintenance problems in recent years and became a target for budget cuts.

The Navy issued an order a year ago prohibiting any aircraft from landing on the Kennedy's flight deck, citing safety concerns after finding rust and corrosion in the arresting gears used to land airplanes.

The decision to retire the Kennedy ahead of schedule without a replacement ship will reduce the size of the fleet from 12 carriers to 11. The Navy fought for two years for the right to mothball the ship, saying the move would save $200 million a year that could be better spent on other programs.

Initially, stunned lawmakers from Virginia and Florida blocked the retirement, arguing it was foolish to shrink the fleet in a time of war.

But they abandoned the fight last fall after agreeing to a compromise that requires the Navy to maintain the Kennedy in good enough condition to be reactivated in case of a national emergency. The ship may be mothballed, donated to a museum or other organization, or kept in some other reserve status, according to last year's defense authorization bill.

The loss of Florida's only aircraft carrier triggered new fears that Hampton Roads might be forced to give up one of its own carriers - and the thousands of jobs that go with it - to better disperse the East Coast fleet.

When the Kennedy is finally retired in a decommissioning ceremony scheduled for March 23, all remaining East Coast carriers will be based in Norfolk, under current basing policies.

Florida lawmakers have pushed to bring one of Norfolk's five carriers to Mayport, saying it makes no sense to keep them all in a single port in an age of terrorism. But Virginia lawmakers have argued the risk is minimal because carriers are often deployed overseas and are seldom in Norfolk all at the same time.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:09:10 PM EST
I heard from a friend that they plan to honor Ted Kennedy by launching a 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 from the waist cat.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:10:59 PM EST
Are they going to launch the USS Chappaquidick for Teddy instead?
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:28:35 PM EST
About time they got rid of that money pit. I was an inspector for her INSURV in 1997 and it was a total disaster. She never got any better.

One thing is for sure, she'll never be a SINKEX. She'd flounder before the first missile hit her.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:34:18 PM EST
As bad as the ship was, her depature will hurt Jacksonville... Hopefully the Navy and the city will decide to dredge Mayport for a nuke.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:39:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By 103:
As bad as the ship was, her depature will hurt Jacksonville... Hopefully the Navy and the city will decide to dredge Mayport for a nuke.

Doesn't need dredging. Nuke carriers have visited the port already. Problem is that Mayport doesn't have an NSF (Nuclear Support Facility).
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:44:17 PM EST
See? This is what I get for listening to 3rd classes.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 5:50:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/20/2007 5:52:51 PM EST by Redmanfms]

Originally Posted By LWilde:

No shit. I toured the engineering spaces with my division to see what a floater plant was like and it was a fucking nightmare.

It was really amusing to see three firemen furiously scrubbing a water fountain while there was a main steam valve right next to them that had green shit growing out of it, hey, dumbasses, it's called small valve maintenance. Hell, there was steam leaking from piping and valves when they didn't even have steam in the engineroom (IOW, boilers weren't lit). I'm glad I never had to work in that ER. Being burned to death by a steam leak was the only thing that really terrified me.

And don't even get me started on her bilges.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 6:18:54 PM EST
Yeah, but her CPO mess is BEAUTIFUL!
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 12:24:55 PM EST
‘We still have a little fight left’

Carrier leaves Norfolk for the last time, heads to Boston
By Mark D. Faram - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 27, 2007 12:18:24 EST

Aboard the USS John F. Kennedy —The aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy didn’t look like a ship about to be decommissioned as it left Norfolk, Va., on Sunday.

And that’s just the way the crew wanted it.

Pulling away from the pier and heading out of Hampton Roads into open water, one “Big John” crew member was happy to have quieted the rumor mill.

“We heard the waterfront rumors, and many here expected us to limp in, leaking fluids and looking like a garbage scow,” said the longtime Kennedy crew member, who asked to remain anonymous. “I guess we showed them because none of that happened — there were three carriers in port and we looked better than all of them — we still have a little fight left in us.”

Even Capt. Todd Zecchin, the ship’s commanding officer, sounded proud when he spoke to the crew during the evening meal, lauding them for their good showing. The ship even got underway a few minutes early.

This was JFK’s last visit to Norfolk, the ship’s first home port. It stopped there as part of a farewell tour that will include a March 1 port call Boston. It will be the ship’s eighth visit to its namesake’s hometown.

“I’ve been onboard here for 11 months, and this is the first real deployment I’ve ever been on,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Aircraft Handling) Ashley Clemmer of V-3 division. “I’m really looking forward to a real port visit, I hear Boston is very nice.”

Clemmer and her shipmate, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Aircraft Handling) Jason Bevan, were working hard cleaning out padeyes in the ship’s hanger bay. The hangar bay will be the focal point for the thousands of visitors expected to tour the ship during the four days it’ll be tied up in Boston.

“We are expecting thousands of visitors each day, maybe as many as a million during our visit,” he said. “That sure will be something to see.”

All over the hanger bay, new murals have been painted, including likenesses of the ship as well as famous quotations from its namesake, President Kennedy.

Back in the jet shop, all the way aft in the hanger bay, more painting was going on as Aviation Machinist’s Mate (AW/SW) Freddie Rivera was airbrushing new decor on one of the ship’s flight deck tractors.

“It’s a tribute to the people and the city of Boston,” Rivera said of his handiwork, which included a leprechaun dressed up as a Boston Celtics basketball player and a bearded baseball fan at Fenway Park, all wrapped around the Kennedy’s logo. The ship’s accomplishments on its last cruise in 2004, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the battle for Fallujah in Iraq, were also included in the artwork.

“We want to show the people of Boston we appreciate them and are thankful for their support of our ship,” Rivera said.

Link Posted: 2/27/2007 12:30:08 PM EST
I say they get Teddy Kennedy on there for a "farewell tour" and then conduct some live fire exercises.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 12:39:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 12:40:21 PM EST by DragoMuseveni]

Originally Posted By 103:
As bad as the ship was, her depature will hurt Jacksonville... Hopefully the Navy and the city will decide to dredge Mayport for a nuke.

Does Jacksonville have an Airbase? I'm sure the people down there would love to have the jets and the 10,000 or so jobs from NAS Oceana
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 12:44:12 PM EST
I remember as a 6 year old looking up awe struck at the old girl when they were building her in 1966.

I feel old...
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 1:20:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By DragoMuseveni:

Originally Posted By 103:
As bad as the ship was, her depature will hurt Jacksonville... Hopefully the Navy and the city will decide to dredge Mayport for a nuke.

Does Jacksonville have an Airbase? I'm sure the people down there would love to have the jets and the 10,000 or so jobs from NAS Oceana

Jax already has an NAS.
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