By Journalist 2nd Class Victoria Tobin, Public Affairs Center San Diego
USS John C. Stennis
(CVN 74) departed San Diego Jan. 5th for its new homeport in the Pacific Northwest.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
is making the trip up the west coast to Bremerton, Wash. Shortly after arriving, the ship is scheduled for routine maintenance and technology upgrades for most of 2005 before its next scheduled deployment.
"We will miss San Diego's beautiful weather and wonderful people," said Capt. David H. Buss, Stennis' commanding officer. "However, the Pacific Northwest has much to offer the crew, and the community has already welcomed us with arms wide open."
Nearly 1,400 married Sailors and their families, along with 1,140 single Sailors, will take up residence in Bremerton and the surrounding area.
"We look forward to building a strong relationship with the many communities in the Pacific Northwest as we did in San Diego," said Stennis' Executive Officer, Capt. Joseph Kuzmick. "Taking an active role in the community is important to the crew of Stennis."
As part of the Navy's routine ship rotation, Stennis is replacing USS Carl Vinson (CVN 68), currently homeported in Bremerton, which will shift homeport to Norfolk, Va., after an around-the-world deployment this winter.
San Diego will not be left empty-handed, as the newest member of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), arrived in San Diego July 2004.
Stennis is named for late Mississippi Sen. John C. Stennis, often referred to as the father of America's modern Navy. His motto, adopted by the ship, was 'Look Ahead.' He had the foresight to realize that the United States needed a state-of-the-art, modern nuclear Navy
to be a world power.
Stennis was commissioned Dec. 9, 1995, and was constructed from more than 60,000 tons of steel. At 1,092 feet in length, it is almost twice the height of the Seattle Space Needle. The flight deck is 4.5 acres, equal to half the size of the Safeco Field retractable roof, home to the Seattle Mariners