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Kitty Hawk Strike Group 04 Underway
CVA / CV-63 Kitty Hawk
"HAWK" / "The Battle Cat"

The Kitty Hawk and elements of her Strike Group departed Yokosuka on February 18, 2004. Early on in the deployment, the Kitty Hawk conducted a two-day missile exercise, called MISSILEX. During this exercise, CVW-5 trained in handling, loading and firing live ordnance.

Following the MISSILEX, the Kitty Hawk Strike Group had the opportunity to be ambassadors during a four day port visit to Hong Kong. On the first day of the Hong Kong port visit, March 6, the Battle Cat hosted a reception for approximately 800 military, government and civilian officials. USS Kitty Hawk made a five-day port visit to Busan, Korea, March 15, 2004. Kitty Hawk last visited Korea in November 2000.

After leaving Busan on March 19, Kitty Hawk participated in the annual Foal Eagle exercise. In Foal Eagle, the Kitty Hawk Strike Group joined forces with the Air Force, Marines and the ROK to practice integration and operability in real life scenarios. The Battle Cat's next port of call took place in Singapore for a four-day visit beginning on April 12. The strike group arrived in Fremantle April 22, 2004 for a scheduled port visit while conducting its spring cruise. The visit included a short rest and relaxation break, routine voyage maintenance and administrative activities. The Kitty Hawk Strike Group departed the port of Fremantle, on April 27.

USS Kitty Hawk turned 43 years old on April 29, 2004 with an under way cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the beginning of another year in the life of America's oldest active Navy ship.

Following the visit to Australia, the Battle Cat headed north and crossed the equator for a second time, performing an ages-old Navy tradition, Wog Day, the crossing-the-line ceremony. The achievement is celebrated by naval forces, and some civilian vessels, around the world, commemorating the ship's crossing of the equator. Sailors who have never crossed the line before, called "pollywogs," go through a series of events to prove that they are worthy of becoming "shellbacks," or those who have "crossed the line."

With a ship full of shellbacks, the Kitty Hawk Strike Group went on to conduct War-At-Sea Exercises (WASEX). The Kitty Hawk returned to Yokosuka on May 24, 2004 for the first time since she began her Spring deployment Feb. 18. During this deployment the Kitty Hawk had used approximately 12 million gallons of fuel and having traveled more than 25,000 nautical miles.

USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), with elements of the Kitty Hawk Strike Group, returned to her forward-deployed operating port of Yokosuka, Japan, Sept. 7, after 48 days underway in support of Summer Pulse '04, and routine readiness training. Kitty Hawk and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 Sailors departed Yokosuka July 19 to participate in exercises and inspections under way, which maintained and demonstrated the efficiency and readiness of the Kitty Hawk/CVW-5 team.

Kitty Hawk Sailors wasted no time getting to work on the first of many hurdles it would jump by the end of the underway period. One of the first assessments of Kitty Hawk was a Maintenance and Materials Management (3M) Inspection. The Commander, Naval Air Forces 3M assessment team began reviewing the ship's 3M system the same day Kitty Hawk left port, and in keeping with Kitty Hawk's proud tradition, the ship made another mark in history by scoring a 95 percent on the inspection.

CVW-5 moved straight from completing its CQ into normal cyclic operations, joining forces with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) CSG to conduct Joint Air and Sea Exercise (JASEX) '04 beginning Aug. 8. JASEX provided a way for the United States to demonstrate its commitment to peace and stability in the western Pacific Ocean in a unique joint training environment.

USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) began a Ship's Restricted Availability (SRA) maintenance period Sept. 16 that resulted in many changes for the ship and its crew, and enable the fleet to maintain high levels of readiness under the Navy's Fleet Response Plan.

Some of this work will include laying in new polymeric deck coating, some significant replacement of ventilation ducting down to the main spaces, and rehabilitating the berthings. The rehabilitation varies from space to space, depending on their individual condition and required repairs. Some berthings were scheduled to undergo minor work, such as receiving a fresh coat of paint, while others were in need of significant repair or replacement of ventilation ducts, water pipes and steam pipes.

All told, there are about 4,800 work orders scheduled for Kitty Hawk during SRA. This continued maintenance enables Kitty Hawk to serve in peak condition under the Navy's Fleet Response Plan, providing more naval assets as needed throughout the globe.

USS Kitty Hawk's (CV 63) ship's restricted availability (SRA) successfully came to an end with the conclusion of sea trials Jan. 15, 2005.


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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:43:22 ZULU