Previously Held NEC AT-6608-Aircraft Navigation Computers IMA Technician
AT-8284-EP-3 Electronics Warfare Operator
AT-7959-FLIR Systems Intermediate Maintenance Technician
AT-6622-Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) Technician
AT-6641-ALQ-126 ECM IMA Technician
AT-6636-AN/USM-470(V)1 Automatic Test System (ATS) Off-Line Maint. Tech.
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 JFK was commissioned, she received the designation CVA-67. This designation remained until the early 1970's when her classification was changed to CV 67, indicating the JFK was capable of supporting anti-submarine warfare aircraft, making JFK an all purpose, multi-mission carrier.
It was also during the early 70's that JFK made a number of deployments to the Mediterranean Sea. It was on the fourth of these cruises that JFK made her first port visit to a North Atlantic port, Edinburgh, Scotland.
During 1978 JFK logged 12,438 arrested landings and 31,568 flight hours. The Kennedy then entered a year-long major overhaul period. In 1981 JFK made her first deployment to the Indian Ocean. While on this cruise JFK served as the first United States ship to be visited by a Somali head of state, transited the Suez Canal, and logged it's 150,000th arrested landing.
Due to the growing crisis in Beirut, JFK was called upon in 1983 to support US operations in the area. During the one year period that the Kennedy spent in and out of the Beirut Theater of Operations, JFK earned her 9th Battle "E" efficiency award.
After spending the winter of 1984 in drydock at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, JFK served as the centerpiece of a vast international armada for the Naval Review held in honor of the 100th Anniversary and Rededication of the Statue of Liberty during July of 1986. Shortly thereafter, JFK departed once again for the familiar waters of the Mediterranean, returning in the spring of 1987.
On January 4, 1989 while conducting routine flight operations in international waters on her 12th Mediterranean cruise, F-14's assigned to the Kennedy shot down two Libyan Mig-23's that were approaching the battle group in a hostile manner. JFK returned home to Norfolk, Virginia in the spring of 1989 for a short industrial period.
In mid 1990, JFK paid a visit to New York City for Fleet Week '90 and was in Boston for the fourth of July. Then in early August, JFK deployed for the Red Sea to support Operation Desert Shield.
JFK arrived in the Red Sea in September 1990 and was chosen as the flagship of the Commander, Red Sea Battle Force. On January 16, 1991, aircraft from the embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing THREE (CVW 3), began Operation Desert Storm as part of a multi-nation coalition to drive Iraq out of neighboring Kuwait. Throughout the war, aircraft from JFK flew 2,895 sorties and 114 strikes delivering over 3.5 million pounds of ordnance over 11,263 combat hours.
Following the cease fire, JFK passed through the Suez Canal for the fourth time in seven months and began her journey home. When JFK arrived in Norfolk, VA on March 28, 1991, her crew was witness to the greatest homecoming celebration and outpouring of public support since World War II.
JFK then spent the next four months in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard where extensive repairs and maintenance on engineering and flight deck systems made the Kennedy ready to handle the F/A-18 Hornet to replace the aging A-7E Corsair II's that had flown off the Kennedy's deck during her last deployment.
The JFK's next deployment, from Oct. 7, 1992 until April 7, 1993 was her 14th to the Mediterranean Sea. This cruise was marked by the developing turmoil in the former Yugoslavia. Throughout the deployment, JFK hosted many visitors, both in port and at sea, and conducted numerous joint exercises with armed forces from Mediterranean littoral nations and spent most of her time in the Adriatic Sea. JFK passed another milestone by logging her 250,000th arrested landing on December 8, 1992.
Upon returning from the Med, JFK entered the Philadelphia Naval shipyard for a two-year comprehensive overhaul. JFK completed this overhaul on September 13, 1995 and began her journey to her new homeport at Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, FL.
After that overhaul, JFK 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. When the KENNEDY left the harbor, 16 aircraft (4 F-14, 6 F-18, 2 E-2 and 4 S-3) took off from the flight deck and overflew the cities of Cork and Dublin as a kind of "thank you". Later, the carrier visited Portsmouth, England, for a four-day port visit. During that port visit some of CVW-8's aircraft participated in military festivities.
The last days of this NORLANT deployment were used for exercises in the Caribbean Sea before the carrier returned to Mayport, Fla.
JFK's next deployment was from April 1997 to October 1997 and marked her 15th major deployment to the Mediterranean.
Until September 1999, the carrier conducted different Atlantic cruises and participated in Fleet Week'98 in New York City where JFK arrived on May 20, 1998.
On September 15, 1999, eight crew members of the ocean tug GULF MAJESTY were rescued and brought to JFK for medical evaluation. 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.
One week later, on September 22, 1999, JFK began a 6-month Med deployment. JFK's aircraft also patrolled the No-Fly-Zone over southern Iraq.
During the Y2K rollover time period the KENNEDY was the only carrier leading a battle group and she was also the only carrier at sea at that time. In March 2000, the KENNEDY returned to Mayport, Fla..
After some exercises in the Atlantic Ocean, the carrier headed for New York City in July 2000, where it participated in the International Naval Review celebrations and afterwards the KENNEDY conducted another port visit to Boston and was back in Mayport, Fla. in August.
After poor marks on a December inspection, the Navy stripped Capt. Maurice Joyce of his command in December 2001, and KENNEDY's scheduled deployment was delayed a month.
USS KENNEDY departed the US east coast on February 16, 2002, on a scheduled 6-month deployment to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During the deployment, JFK's Air Wing delivered more than 64,000 pounds of bombs and other ordnance on Taliban and al-Qaida targets and its air crews flew 2,599 missions. The carrier returned to Mayport on August 17, 2002.
USS JOHN F. KENNEDY, which endured serious mechanical problems during the deployment, will begin a nine-month overhaul in January.
From October 4 - November 4, 2002, JFK conducted carrier qualifications for Fleet Readiness Squadrons (FRS), Training Command (TRACOM) students and TRACOM instructors in the western Atlantic Ocean.
On January 6, 2003, KENNEDY began a nine-month overhaul at the ship's homeport in Mayport, Fla.
Ready to return to sea in October, the carrier's next major mission was Operation Blinding Storm which was the combined joint task force exercise for the KENNEDY strike Group. Departing Mayport, Fla., on June 7, 2004, the Strike Group participated in the CJTFEX till June 18, and after being certified to deploy, the carrier set sail for the Mediterranean. After a port visit to Malta from June 26 - 29, the strike group continued its voyage through the Suez Canal and entered the Persian Gulf on July 7. Local operations including direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom lasted till November 20, when the KENNEDY was relieved by the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). After another Suez Canal Transit, the KENNEDY returned home to Mayport on December 13, 2004. During the deployment CVW-17 aircraft flew 8,296 sorties for a total flight time of 21,824 hours. Of that total, 4,396 sorties and 11,607 flight hours were in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.