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Sailors Bid Farewell to Sasebo

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061113-09
Release Date: 11/13/2006 7:15:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aaron Roob, USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs

USS KITTY HAWK, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), USS Shiloh (CG 67) and USS Stethem (DDG 63) departed Sasebo, Japan, Nov. 9, ending the Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group’s first port visit of the fall underway period.

Kitty Hawk hosted a reception for Japanese Ground and Maritime Self Defense Force’s members, Sailors from Fleet Activities Sasebo and ships in the area, and local community leaders on its second night in port. Nearly 300 people toured the carrier the following day.

While locals explored the carrier, 225 Sailors explored Sasebo and its neighboring cities with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division’s help. MWR offered Sailors eight tours, including an all-star game pitting Major League Baseball players against Japan’s finest.

MWR also coordinated sports events for 112 basketball, softball and soccer players, with many of the events pitting Kitty Hawk teams against Sasebo teams.

“It was a good time,” said Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (AW/SW) Milton Hempstead, who competed in MWR’s double-elimination basketball tournament. “I liked that the tournament was spread out over two days because it gave us something to do.”

More than 100 Sailors devoted their off-time to three community service projects organized by the Kitty Hawk Religious Ministries Department. The Sailors did chores for and met with residents of a nursing home, a home for the elderly and a home for the mentally disabled.

“It’s always good to help out,” said Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (AW) Jeffrey Harsh, who participated in the San Home Egami nursing home community service project. “Everyone was smiling when we were there, and the owners really appreciated our help.”

The Kitty Hawk strike group is the largest carrier strike group in the Navy and is three weeks into its fall deployment, which began Oct. 17, in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

The Kitty Hawk strike group includes the aircraft carrier, the aircraft squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing 5, Destroyer Squadron 15 staff and various strike group ships. The group’s ships and destroyer squadron staff operate from Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, and the air wing and staff operate from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.

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