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Kitty Hawk Strike Group visits Hong Kong

7th Fleet Release

Release Date: 3/6/2004

Carrier Group Five public affairs

HONG KONG -- The USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Strike Group anchored in Victoria Harbor March 6, returning to Hong Kong more than 15 months since their last visit of November 2002.

Joining the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk for this highly desired port call are two ships from the Strike Group: USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Cushing (DD 985), as well as the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.

An additional ship from the strike group, USS O'Brien (DD 975), arrived here March 2. More than 6,000 Sailors will enjoy liberty in Hong Kong, Kowloon and surrounding areas, and are sure to boost the local economy, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars during every port call made.

"We are delighted to be making a visit to beautiful Hong Kong," said Capt. Thomas Parker, commanding officer of USS Kitty Hawk. "This is always a favorite stop for our Sailors. Visits like these help strengthen relations between people of different countries, and allow Sailors to experience cultures they may otherwise never see." Rear Adm. James D. Kelly, commander, Carrier Group (CARGRU) 5, is the embarked strike group commander.

Capt. Parker, along with, Capt. Joseph Aucoin, commander of CVW-5, and Capt. Sam Perez, the embarked commodore for Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, are anticipated to meet with several community and business leaders during their stay.

USS Kitty Hawk is America's oldest active ship, and is the first of the modern "super carriers," commissioned April 29, 1961. The aircraft carrier has a crew of more than 3,200 Sailors. Also on board Kitty Hawk are more than 1,600 Sailors of CVW 5 and staff personnel for CARGRU 5 and DESRON 15, with a total complement of more than 5,000 personnel aboard USS Kitty Hawk looking forward to another successful Hong Kong port visit.

USS Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-Class Aegis guided-missile cruiser with a crew of approximately 400 Sailors and is commanded by Capt. Jonathan Will.

USS Cushing is a Spruance-Class destroyer commanded by Cmdr. Peter Dallman. Observing an age-old tradition, Dallman will pass on his command to Cmdr. Steven Mucklow in an official change-of-command ceremony to be held aboard the ship in Hong Kong Harbor Sunday, March 7. USS O'Brien is also a Spruance-Class destroyer and has a crew of approximately 340 Sailors. It is commanded by Cmdr. Fred Harr.

CVW-5, embarked aboard Kitty Hawk with more than 70 aircraft, operates from Atsugi, Japan, as another essential element of naval aviation and Seventh Fleet operations.

The Kitty Hawk Strike Group, the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed carrier strike group, currently operates from Yokosuka, Japan, and recently began a deployment Feb. 18.



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