Farewell to a Flattop

The US Navy will be down to 10 carriers for a while as the good ship USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) is decommissioned later this month.kennedy in sun.jpgTime, tide, and over 40 years of service in all the oceans around the world has taken its toll on this great ship, and on March 23 the aircraft carrier, launched in 1967 and commissioned a year later, will be stricken from the rolls of active navy ships.This will leave the US with only 10 active carriers until the USS George H. W. Bush is commissioned sometime in late 2008. A 10-carrier fleet may seem scandalous to those familiar with US Navy bird-farm numbers, but with Kennedy having launch and recovery equipment problems over the past few years and not having her flight deck certified to operate fixed-wing aircraft, we really have been operating with that reduce number of carriers for a while now.Kennedy, one of the last oil-burners in the fleet, is currently on her last at-sea period, finishing up a port visit to her namesake's hometown, Boston.After decommissioning, she will likely be towed up to Philadelphia Naval Ship yard, taking the place at the pier where USS America waited so long for her ignoble yet valuable weapons test sinking last year. Such a fate will most likely not be the case for Kennedy, if for nothing else her name will result in her possibly being the first "Super Carrier" museum to adorn a waterfront one day.I'd say if you are in the Mayport, FL area later this month, go on down and give the ol' girl a send off befitting her great heritage and wonderful service over all these years. She's been a good one.--Pinch Paisley, cross posted with more at the Instapinch

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