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Vice President Cheney Visits USS Kitty Hawk

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070224-02
Release Date: 2/24/2007 11:14:00 AM


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Randy Lane, USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Vice President Dick Cheney visited USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Feb. 21 to thank military personnel, family members and civilian employees stationed in Japan for their service. The audience of more than 4,000 was made up of Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers and Marines stationed at bases throughout Japan’s Kanto Plain region.

Cheney is in Japan to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to talk about Asian security and the global war on terrorism.

Cheney talked about the importance of the 46-year-old Kitty Hawk to security in the Asian region. Kitty Hawk is the Navy's only aircraft carrier permanently operating outside the United States.

“We keep the shipping lanes open for trade, which is the economic lifeline for so many countries,” said Cheney. “We keep an eye out for those who try and move deadly weapons across these waters, and [we bring] relief to the victims of natural disasters.”

Cheney also personally thanked several members of the aircraft carrier’s crew.

“I was excited that Vice President Cheney was coming to Yokosuka, but even more excited when he stopped to shake my hand,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Rudoff Liverpool, from Kitty Hawk’s Weapons Department. “He asked me where I was from and how long I had been in the Navy. It’s just amazing that the ‘second in command’ of the United States would ask me personal questions.”

Liverpool also said he enjoyed hearing about the ship’s history during the vice president’s speech. Cheney recounted President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Kitty Hawk in 1963, just before his death. Kennedy said that control of the seas means security, peace and ultimate victory.

“The vice president reminded me that this ship has a lot of history,” said Liverpool. “The mission was important in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy came aboard, and Vice President Cheney coming aboard today shows that it’s still important.”

“We hear how important our mission is every day from our chain of command,” said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airman Kenneth Padron of Kitty Hawk’s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department. “Having the vice president fly halfway around the world to tell us makes it a little more real. It gives us a sense of purpose.”

Vice President Cheney plans to visit Guam and Australia after leaving Japan to pay respect to allies of the United States and to reaffirm America’s commitment to a forward presence in the Asia-Pacific Region.

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