Kitty Hawk Strike Group Ends Eventful Hong Kong Visit
Story Number: NNS050309-07
Release Date: 3/9/2005 4:28:00 PM
By Journalist 3rd Class Christopher Koons and Journalist 1st Class (SCW) Michael Mitchell, USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs
USS KITTY HAWK, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 ended a four-day port visit to Hong Kong March 1.
Although Hong Kong is well known for its world-class shopping opportunities and nightlife, Hawk Sailors made an impact on the local population by volunteering their time to help charity organizations. Sailors volunteered for three community service projects during the port visit.
"Community projects are important because they give Sailors a chance to interact with the community by exchanging cultural experiences," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 1st Class (AW) Walter Amick, of Kitty Hawk aircraft intermediate maintenance department's general maintenance division.
Sailors spent their time sorting and loading tsunami relief supplies for the Crossroads International program, painting at a Lutheran Theological Seminary and painting classrooms and hallways at the Bayanihan Community Center.
"My group went to the Lutheran Seminary," said Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Daniel Hebert, Kitty Hawk combat systems department's weapons systems maintenance division. "They had a big room where they did ceremonies and meetings and such. We had to clear the room out of all the furniture, do some sanding, and prep and then paint [the room]."
"It was too humid for the outdoor painting we were supposed to do," said Amick. "So, we helped the community center by scraping and sanding the external structure, and prepared the surface for painting later."
Even though the volunteers were unable to complete their original painting project due to the inclement weather, the staff and many of the students still appreciated the hard work that the volunteers put into improving their facility.
"We received a warm welcome from the staff and the members of the center," said Amick. "We had a great time, and it was quite a rewarding experience."
For other Sailors, the opportunity to sightsee and have fun was an exciting prospect while in Hong Kong.
"The Hong Kong visit was outstanding for us," said Storekeeper 1st Class (SW/AW) Jeff Hinton, Kitty Hawk's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) division leading petty officer. "Our tour and hotel sales went beyond what we expected. We sold many more hotel reservations than we did the last time we were in Hong Kong."
Kitty Hawk and CVW-5 Sailors even found time during the visit to engage in a little sporting recreation with a local Hong Kong basketball team.
"The Kitty Hawk and CVW-5 basketball teams both competed in exhibition games in Kowloon," said Nate Greene, Kitty Hawk's MWR director. "These events were very successful."
Some Sailors had a great time in Hong Kong by just relaxing and enjoying their time in the bustling metropolitan city.
Thanks to the respite in Hong Kong, the Kitty Hawk/CVW-5 team is now ready for the rest of its winter underway period, according to Capt. Thomas Parker, Kitty Hawk's commanding officer.
"We had an outstanding in-port period in Hong Kong," he said. "Now we are ready to get back in the game and continue our mission in the region."
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 USS Cowpens (CG 63), and Destroyer Squadron 15.
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