USS JOHN F. KENNEDY CV 67
The keel for United States Ship John F. Kennedy was laid on October 22, 1964 at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Virginia. Christened on May 27, 1967 by President Kennedy's 9-year-old daughter, Caroline, JFK entered active service on September 7, 1968. When the carrier was commissioned, it received the designation CVA 67. This designation remained until the early 1970's when her classification was changed to CV 67, indicating the she was capable of supporting antisubmarine warfare aircraft, making her an all purpose, multi-mission carrier.
Kennedy's maiden voyage was to the Mediterranean in response to a deteriorating situation in the Middle East. Subsequently, she made another seven deployments to this area of the world during the '70s.
September 14, 1976 USS John F. Kennedy collided with destroyer Bordelon (DD 881), during night operations 100 miles north of Scotland.
During 1978 CV 67 logged 12,438 arrested landings and 31,568 flight hours. By the mid-'70s, she was upgraded to handle the F-14 Tomcat and the S-3 Viking. The aircraft carrier underwent her first, yearlong, major overhaul ending in 1979. The ship's ninth deployment, in 1981, marked her first trip to the Indian Ocean. She transited the Suez Canal, hosted the first visit aboard a United States ship by a Somali head of state, and achieved its 150,000th arrested landing.
Due to the growing crisis in Beirut, she was called upon in 1983 to support US operations in the area. During the one year period that the carrier spent in and out of the Beirut Theater of Operations, JFK earned its 9th Battle "E" efficiency award.
USS John F. Kennedy spent the winter of 1984 in drydock for a complex overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. In July 1986, she served as the centerpiece for a vast international naval armada during the International Naval Review in honor of the 100th Anniversary and Rededication of the Statue of Liberty. CV 67 departed for Mediterranean deployment Aug. 1986 and returned in March 1987.
The aircraft carrier departed Norfolk, Va. for its 12th major deployment to the Mediterranean in August 1988. On Jan. 4, 1989, embarked F-14 Tomcats shot down two Libyan MIG-23s that were approaching the battlegroup in a hostile manner. Following a variety of exercises in early 1990, JFK paid visits to New York for Fleet Week and Boston on July 4th. In August, with just four days notice, she deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield.
CV 67 Entered the Red Sea in Sept. 1990 and became the flagship of the Commander, Red Sea Battle Force. On Jan. 16, 1991, aircraft from the ship's Carrier Air Wing Three began Operation Desert Storm with attacks on Iraqi forces. The ship launched 114 strikes and 2,895 sorties, with aircrews of CVW-3 flying 11,263 combat hours and delivering more than 3.5 million pounds of ordnance in the conflict.
After the cease fire, USS John F. Kennedy transited the Suez Canal for the fourth time in seven months and began its journey home. She returned to Norfolk March 28, 1991 to the greatest homecoming celebration since World War II. JFK then entered a four-month restricted availability period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The ship departed the shipyard in September with extensive repairs and maintenance to engineering systems, flight deck systems and equipment. The ship was readied to handle F/A-18 Hornet aircraft to replace A-7E Corsair IIs that had flown on their last deployment from the deck of CV 67.
The 1992-93 deployment, from Oct. 7, 1992 until April 7, 1993 marked Kennedy's 14th to the Mediterranean area. The tone of the deployment was set by turmoil in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. The ship conducted multiple exercises with the armed forces of Mediterranean littoral nations, hosted a great number of visitors in port and at sea, and spent substantial operating time in the Adriatic Sea. On Dec. 8, 1992 the aircraft carrier passed a milestone by achieving its 250,000th aircraft trap. Upon her return from cruise, JFK celebrated her Silver Anniversary, then moved north for a two-year, comprehensive overhaul in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The overhaul was completed Sept. 13, 1995 whereupon the ship moved to its new homeport at Mayport Naval Station in Florida. After that overhaul, it became the new Reserve Operational Carrier on September 30, 1995.
In November 1995, the first reserve squadron, VFA-204, came aboard for a short cruise off the coast of Florida. The first deployment in this new role began on May 17, 1996. During this NORLANT deployment the carrier and CVW-8 operated off Great Britain and visited England and Ireland. The highlight of this six-week deployment was a port visit in Dublin. More than 10,000 visitors toured the ship. Later, the JFK visited Portsmouth, England, for a four-day port visit. The last days of this NORLANT deployment were used for exercises in the Caribbean Sea before the carrier returned to Mayport, Fla.
USS John F. Kennedy departed Mayport April 29, 1997 for its 15th deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. The JFK Battle Group returned home Oct. 28 after six months of operating in the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea in Support of Operation Deliberate Guard and in the Arabian Gulf supporting Operation Southern Watch.
As the sole conventionally powered aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Fleet, USS John F. Kennedy deployed with the most advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Systems (C4I) in the Navy. Along with Carrier Air Wing 8 participated in numerous U.S., bilateral and multi-national exercises. The carrier's first major exercise was the French-led Iles D'or during May in the western Mediterranean to train the forces of 10 nations, including two smaller aircraft carriers from Italy and Spain.
In July, the Battle Group participated in the 6th Fleet exercise Invitex involving 12 nations. During Invitex, allied forces, including 13,000 U.S. Sailors and Marines, were challenged to effectively manage the way they communicate and act upon operational information as it is processed and distributed to allied decision-makers. NATO's Exercise Dynamic Mix, Sept. 23 - Oct. 7, placed CV 67 Battle Group units on opposing sides. While deployed, the ship's Sailors and Marines enjoyed 10 port visits to six countries -- France, Spain, Israel, Greece, Bahrain, and was the first American aircraft carrier to visit the Republic of Slovenia.
After a brief maintenance period, JFK participated in Fleet Week '98 in New York City.
During 1999, continuing at-sea periods prepared the ship for its 16th deployment to the Mediterranean Sea/Arabian Gulf.
On Sept. 15 eight crew members of the ocean tug Gulf Majesty were rescued and brought to JFK for medical evaluation. USS John F. Kennedy responded to their distress call around 8:30 that morning. The carrier, about 150 miles from the tug's reported location off north Florida's Atlantic coast at the time, had been at sea less than a day after leaving its homeport of Mayport, Fla., to ride out Hurricane Floyd. The Battle Group had been scheduled to begin their six-month routine deployment on Sept. 17, but Hurricane Floyd's track up the East Coast of the U.S. forced the sortie of all Mayport and Norfolk ships. This delayed the battle group's final deployment preparations, most notably the onload of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) One aboard the CV 67.
The John F. Kennedy Battle Group and Carrier Air Wing One engaged in Operation Bright Star after leaving Malta. Bright Star was a multi-national event featuring both air and surface combatants. The ship made the first carrier port call to Jordan, and hosted the King of Jordan, allowing him to experience life at sea. The Battle Group relieved the USS Constellation Battle Group of duties in the Arabian Gulf after 72 days of operating in the region. JFK participated in Operation Southern Watch, flying combat missions while enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq. It spent most of the millennium deployment in the Arabian Gulf conducting flight operations in support of Operation Southern Watch and conducting Marine Intervention Operations. While in the Gulf, the aircraft carrier visited the island nation of Bahrain, and pulled to port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates. The JFK/CVW-1 team set new records in bombing accuracy while employing the most lethal combination of precision weaponry ever put to sea, amassing 10,302 arrested landings along the way. On Jan. 1st, she became the "Carrier of the New Millennium" by being the only carrier underway as the year 2000 arrived. JFK completed Deployment 99-3 to the Arabian Gulf and Meditteranean sea March 19, 2000.
USS John F. Kennedy BG completed a successful operational evaluation of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system from May 2000 to May 2001, and became the first battle group to deploy with the production version of this important system. The Cooperative Engagement Capability System (CEC) enables Kennedy's battle group ships and aircraft to share sensor data, at speeds never seen before, providing the entire battle group with a single integrated air picture. This revolutionary capability doesn't require additional radars or weapons but instead, shares information with existing systems.
The JFK battle group successfully completed the intermediate level, Composite Training Unit Exercise at the Puerto Rican Operating Areas, Sat., Oct. 13, 2001. COMPTUEX is an exercise designed to combine the many elements of a U.S. Navy battle group into a cohesive fighting force in preparation for overseas deployment. The exercise began shortly after getting underway Sept. 11 and included naval surface fire support (NSFS), ship-to-shore gunnery training and air-to-ground bombing using inert ordnance.
On February 16, 2002 ships and squadrons of the USS John F. Kennedy CBG successfully completed the second phase of Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-1, earning certification to deploy. JTFEX 02-1 was conducted in two phases to accommodate pier-side repairs to the carrier during the first phase of the exercise. The exercise took place off the U.S. East Coast, and at training ranges in North Carolina and Florida.
March 4, The Navy has identified the crew members of an F-14 Tomcat that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea March 2, after launching from JFK in the eastern Mediterranean. Killed was the pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Christopher M. Blaschum, 33, of Virginia Beach, Va., who had accumulated more than 2,700 flight hours, of which 1,400 were in the F-14. The radar intercept officer (RIO), Lt. j.g. Rafe Wysham, 25, of Madras, Ore., is listed in good condition. Both men were assigned to VF-143 "Pukin Dogs". The aircraft carrier was conducting routine flight training operations in the Mediterranean Sea about 50 nautical miles south of Crete, Greece, when the accident occurred.
March 7, USS John F. Kennedy, commanded by Capt. Ronald H. Henderson, Jr., assumed the watch in the North Arabian Sea from USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Just after midnight on March 11, JFK launched the first combat sortie from its deck in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. With the first launch, the Kennedy became the sixth aircraft carrier to participate in combat missions in the war against terrorism. Currently the nighttime operations platform, it joins USS John C. Stennis to provide a two-carrier presence and sustain round-the-clock combat operations over Afghanistan.
August 17, USS John F. Kennedy returned to Mayport, Fla., after a six-month combat deployment in the Arabian Gulf, in addition to operations in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The carrier completed its 17th deployment, highlighted by participation in Operation Enduring Freedom, where they delivered more than 64,000 pounds of ordnance on Taliban and Al Qaeda targets. Carrier Air Wing 7 aircraft flew a total of 2,599 day and night missions in support of Coalition Forces over Afghanistan. Throughout the course of the deployment, CV 67 safely navigated 160 days at sea covering 69,050 miles of water and completed more than 9,100 aircraft traps/recoveries.
November 17, 2003 USS John F. Kennedy got underway at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 for the first time in almost a year. During a five-day underway period, known as sea trials, the crew conducted rigorous operational tests on newly installed or improved systems. During the extended selected restricted availability, or ESRA, the crew worked with contractors painting, welding and renovating berthing compartments, offices and common areas. The unprecedented maintenance project marked the largest ever conducted outside a naval shipyard. Combined, contractors and crewmembers invested more than 600,000 man-hours recapitalizing the 35-year-old ship.
February 21, 2004 Ships and aircraft of the USS John F. Kennedy Carrier Strike Group began their Composite Training Unit Exercise. The exercise, scheduled to run through mid-March, used the Virginia Capes and Jacksonville, Fla. operating areas and training ranges along the East Coast and Gulf Coast of Florida.
March 17, The JFK pulled to Pensacoula, Fla., for a four-day port visit afer completing its month-long Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). The ship returned to homeport on 22nd.
April 16, The Mayport-based aircraft carrier is currently off the East coast conducting Carrier Qualification (CQ).
April 25, USS John F. Kennedy completed its final preparation for deployment during a massive weapons onload with two other Navy vessels April 23-24. The carrier and its crew worked alongside USS Enterprise and USS Seattle (AOE 3), transferring ordnance underway from the nuclear carrier and fast combat support ship to its flight decks.
June 7, USS John F. Kenedy departed Naval Station Mayport for a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The "Big John" is one of seven aircraft carriers involved in the Summer Pulse 2004 Exercise. It's the simultaneous deployment of seven aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs) demonstrating the ability of the Navy to provide credible combat power across the globe, in five theatres with other U.S., allied and coalition military forces. Summer Pulse is the Navy first deployment under its new Fleet Readiness Plan (FRP). This is the final F-14 deployment for VF-103 "Jolly Rogers" as they will be transferring to FA-18F Super Hornet after they return from deployment.
June 24, CV 67 passed the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea. The aircraft carrier pulled to Valletta, Malta, for a brief port visit on 26th.
August 7, The John F. Kennedy departed Manama, Bahrain, after a five-day port call.
August 14, two HH-60H from HS-15 "Red Lions" rescued all crew members aboard the ill-fated Iranian-flaged dhow Naji.
September 10, JFK pulled to Jebel Ali, U.A.E., for a routine port visit.
October 5, Capt. Dennis E. FitzPatrick took command of aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy from Capt. John W. Miller in a change of command ceremony. Miller, who previously served as the captain of USS Constellation, assumed command of JFK in August of 2002. In his next assignment, he will serve as a member of the Joint Staff in the Pentagon.
October 18, The commanding officer of VF-103 "Jolly Rogers" has been relieved by the commander of the Kennedy Strike Group Rear Adm. Barry McCullough in October, following a liberty incident during a recent port visit. Capt. W. R. Massey, deputy Carrier Air Wing 17, has temporarily replaced Cmdr. Guy Maiden as commanding officer of VF-103. Cmdr. David Landess is en route to JFK to assume command of the "Jolly Rogers". Maiden will be temporarily reassigned to duties in the United States.
November 8, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 of Carrier Air Wing 17, currently embarked aboard the JFK, dropped the Navy’s first two 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) during combat operations in Iraq Oct. 29. The GBU-38 completed its initial operational evaluation Sept. 28 from NAVAIR test ranges in southern California. The successful evaluation resulted in an early operational capability Oct. 8, eight months ahead of its scheduled initial operational capability, ultimately bringing this capability to the warfighter much sooner than expected.
November 22, A changing of the guard occurred Nov. 20, when the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group relieved the USS John F. Kennedy Carrier Strike Group on station in the North Arabian Gulf. The two carriers conducted ordnance and crew transfers prior to Kennedy’s departure, and Truman’s commencement of combat operations in the theatre.
December 13, USS John F. Kennedy returned to Naval Station Mayport, Florida after six-month deployment. Warplanes from CVW 17 began flying sorties in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom July 10. By deployment’s end, they flew 8,296 sorties for a total of 21,824 flight hours. Of those, 4,396 sorties and 11,607 of the flight hours were in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the course of operations in Iraq, 54,000 pounds of ordnance were dropped by the jets of Carrier Air Wing Seventeen.
January 26, 2005 The aircraft carrier is currently conducting carrier qualification (CQ) in the Atlantic Ocean.
February 10, JFK is currently participating in a Multi-Battle Group Inport Exercise (MBGIE) Feb. 7-11. During the exercise, joint U.S. and United Kingdom force, will replicate a composite warfighting scenario regardless of location.
March 1, USS John F. Kennedy departed Mayport Naval Station for a one-week underway period to conduct sustainment training.
From March 12-13, the "Big John" transfered ammunition and ordnance to fast commbat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) and conducted vertical replenishment (VERTREP) operations with USS Theodore Roosevelt, for quick transfer of munitions and supplies, at the East coast.
April 1, The Navy cancelled the fiscal year '05 Complex Overhaul (COH) for USS John F. Kennedy. Resulting from this decision, the homeport shift from Mayport, Fla., to Norfolk, Va., will not occur. It's Complex Overhaul (COH) was estimated to take more than 15 months. Given the requirement to present a balanced program and under the current fiscal environment, Navy leadership feels the decision to cancel the COH will free resources for other priorities. The final decision on the ship's decommissioning and inactivation status is still pending.
April 12, JFK is currently conducting scheduled carrier qualification in the Atlantic Ocean.
May 16, USS John F. Kennedy and embarked 24th MEU departed Mayport on it's transit to Boston, Mass. The aircraft carrier pulled to historic Boston Harbor on 19th.
May 23, The "Big John" departed Boston and headed to New York City to participate in Fleet Week 2005 May 25-June 1.
June 8, USS John F. Kennedy returned to Mayport, Florida.
July 27, CV 67 is currently in Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualification.
September 8, The carrier departed Naval Station Mayport to conduct routine trainings in the Atlantic Ocean.
September 27, USS John F. Kennedy returned to homeport after completing the CQ.
October 25, The JFK is currently conducting carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean. Despite challenges with the weather that prompted an initial schedule change, she successfully completed the week-long CQ period October 28. The carrier logged 548 traps, qualifying 33 new pilots.
December 14, The ship returned to Mayport after carrier qualifications off the East Coast.
January 27, 2006 USS John F. Kennedy is currently underway conducting proficiency training in the Atlantic Ocean.
April 4, CV 67 is currently conducting proficiency training off the coast of Florida.
May 2, The aircraft carrier is underway conducting crew proficiency training off the coast of Florida.
May 26, Capt. Todd A. Zecchin relieved Capt. Dennis E. Fitzpatrick, as commanding office of the USS John F. Kennedy, during a change of command ceremony held aboard the ship in Mayport, Fla.
February 20, 2007 The "Big John" departed Naval Station Mayport for its last underway period. Arrived in Boston, Mass., for its final port visit on March 1.
March 23, After more than 38 years of service and 18 official deployments, USS John F. Kennedy left the Fleet during the inactivation ceremony at Naval Station Mayport. Ther ship will be towed to Norfolk, Va., until it can be transferred to the Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia, Pa.
August 1, USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) was officially decommissioned at Naval Station Norfolk.
March 17, 2008 The decommissioned aircraft carrier ex-John F. Kennedy departed Naval Station Norfolk and is currently in tow to the Navy's Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia. The ship is scheduled to arrive at the Navy's facility on March 20 for preservation and safe storage until a decision is made by the Secretary of the Navy on the carrier's final disposition; Stricken from the U.S. Navy list on October 16, 2009.