"Big John" Decommissioned After 38 Years of Service

Monday, March 26, 2007
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bill Larned, USS John F. Kennedy Public Affairs

Distinguished visitors and guests attend the historical decommissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). Kennedy served its country with more than 38 years of service and 18 official deployments. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Susan Cornell

The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) was decommissioned in Mayport, Fla., March 23. After a 17 gun salute, USS John F. Kennedy Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Zecchin addressed the more than 5,000 guests, former commanding officers, city officials and distinguished visitors. In his speech, he described his feelings for the ship and the legacy of its crew. “While preparing for today, I realized that serving on this ship is akin to having a relationship with a tried and true friend," Zecchin said. "Saying goodbye is a sublime melancholy.” Zecchin described the level of dedication the crew revealed. He illustrated their pride in professionalism in terms of a recent port visit to Boston, when 21 degree below zero windchills made working conditions at night unforgiving. “None of the watchstanders complained. In fact, I had to order them back inside the skin of the ship because they were so intent on getting the job done.”

The ship’s commanding officer took time not just to remember the crew’s efforts, but of those backing each of them. “Nobility of purpose, service to people, devotion to a cause and a deep belief in each other is what sustains us. We could not have done it without the support of family and friends," he said. Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Admiral John B. Nathman talked about the ship’s history and the deployments to the Middle East that made headlines in the 1980s, 1990s and the present decade. “You have served with honor and distinction,” Nathman said, addressing the crew. “I commend you for facing challenges head-on and for welcoming your responsibility. Feel privileged to bear your responsibility. Wear it as a mantle on your shoulders with the pride it deserves.” To recognize some of the former commanding officers of USS John F. Kennedy, Zecchin asked all who had once commanded the warship to stand. A hearty applause erupted from all of the seated guests, young and old, military personnel and civilians.

The 80,000 ton warship, namesake of the 35th President of the United States, saw 18 deployments and 30 commanding officers in its 38 years of service.

Maritime Reporter October 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

China Opposed to Parties Entering 'territorial' Waters

China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was against parties entering territorial waters in the name of freedom of navigation, as the United States is considering

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates Plunge 17 pct

Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 17.3 percent to $259 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

Traders Eye Floating Diesel Storage in Atlantic

Europe diesel stocks reach fresh record high; huge imports from Asia, Middle East weigh on supplies. Oil traders are preparing to store diesel in giant tankers


China Opposed to Parties Entering 'territorial' Waters

China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was against parties entering territorial waters in the name of freedom of navigation, as the United States is considering

Servowatch IPMS Completes FATs for UK Navy

The fully integrated platform management system Servowatch designed and built for three new offshore patrol vessels for the U.K. Royal Navy has completed BAE Systems’ Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT).

Steel Cut on UK Navy’s Newest Warship

Construction has begun on a new warship for the U.K. Royal Navy as the Minister of State for Defense Procurement, Philip Dunne MP cut the first steel in Glasgow today.

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1549 sec (6 req/sec)