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Kitty Hawk Anticipates Memorable Visit to Hong Kong

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050228-07
Release Date: 2/28/2005 10:59:00 AM

From USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs

ABOARD USS KITTY HAWK, Hong Kong (NNS) -- It has been nearly a year since USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) launched its liberty boats to Hong Kong's Fenwick Pier, but the length of time has done nothing to diminish the anticipation and excitement of Sailors as they steamed into Hong Kong harbor Feb. 25.

Kitty Hawk, its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, and USS Cowpens (CG 63) arrived for a port visit to explore and take advantage of Hong Kong's world-class shopping and cultural attractions.

"Port visits, such as this one, are a great way to demonstrate our friendship and the awesome capability of our forward-deployed strike group," said Rear. Adm. Jamie Kelly, commander of Carrier Strike Group 5, embarked on Kitty Hawk.

Other ships in the Kitty Hawk Strike Group have been enjoying their visit to Hong Kong over the last few days.

First to arrive were USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) and USS Vincennes (CG 49). USS Cushing (DD 985), USS Gary (FFG 51) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) arrived Feb. 22.

"Hong Kong is a terrific port, and the people of Hong Kong are exceptional hosts," Kelly said. "We truly appreciate their friendship and are looking forward to this wonderful port call."

Kitty Hawk last visited Hong Kong in March 2004, while patrolling the western Pacific Ocean during its spring deployment.

"The ship's last visit here was my first time to Hong Kong," said Religious Program Specialist 3rd Class Nathaniel Hirigoyen of Kitty Hawk's religious ministries department. "It's a nice mix of Eastern and Western culture. This time, I plan on going to Victoria Peak, sightseeing and eating some good food."

With more than 6,000 Sailors enjoying liberty in Hong Kong, Kowloon and surrounding areas, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, the visit is sure to boost the local economy.

"I went on a lot of tours during our last port visit here. Most of these were shopping tours," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Lleana Angeleen Ng, who works in Kitty Hawk's supply department, food service division. "I had a blast. Hong Kong is the best port, especially for shopping, and the nightlife was also great."

According to Kitty Hawk's Morale, Welfare and Recreation office, in addition to shopping and taking in the island's attractions, members of the crew and air wing will be able to participate in friendly basketball games between the ship and local organizations and a golf outing/tournament, as well as enjoy special hotel rates and tours to mainland China.

"There's going to be a wide range of activities for people to choose from," said Nathaniel Greene, Kitty Hawk's Morale, Welfare and Recreation coordinator. "We have high school and college basketball teams that are interested in playing a Kitty Hawk team, and there will be a variety of Hong Kong tours and hotels to choose from."

Another Navy tradition that Sailors can look forward to is the community service projects the Navy undertakes in nearly every port visit. The Hong Kong visit will offer Sailors an opportunity to participate in community service, so even if they want to take in the sights on their own, there will still be time to give something back to the local residents in exchange for their hospitality and friendliness.

During last year's Hong Kong visit, Kitty Hawk Sailors assisted the Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House and Crossroads International.

The Kitty Hawk Strike Group is the largest carrier strike group in the Navy and is composed of the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, CVW-5, the guided-missile cruisers USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and Cowpens, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15.

Capt. Thomas Parker, commanding officer of Kitty Hawk, along with Capt. Joseph Aucoin, commander CVW-5, and Capt. Sam Perez, the embarked commodore for DESRON 15, are anticipated to meet with several community and business leaders during their stay.

Kitty Hawk is America's oldest active ship and is the first of the modern "super carriers," commissioned April 29, 1961.

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