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Maritime Logistics Community News : December 2008
44 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2008 Rimpac 2008 on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) BY LIEUTENANT STEVE YoUNG The only figure about Kitty Hawk that isn’t huge is the number of washing machines and dryers provided for the ship’s company, of which there are only around 20 of each. The RIMPAC statistics 8 – 29 July 2008; • Processed 158 Urgent Material Screens (UMS) requests • Processed 7910 ship and aviation demands • Conducted 5 RAS and 2 vertreps involving the delivery of around 500 pallets • Took on 3,177,692 gallons of diesel (US$14,140,729.40) • Took on 2,238,090 gallons JP5 aviation fuel The USS Kitty Hawk, the Flagship of the US Fleet and at 47 years of age it is also the oldest ship. Don’t be fooled by her age though because she’s in great condition and can still pack an awesome punch with her embarked Carrier Air Wing CvW-5. I was fortunate to be on board for her final fling during RIMPAC 2008 as assistant MATCONOFF where Kitty Hawk or Kitty as she is affectionately known, participated in her last operational exercise before her decommissioning in early 2009. Kitty Hawk had spent the last 10 years operating as the only forward deployed USN carrier out of Yokosuka, Japan and will be replaced by the USS George Washington in late September 2008. The George Washington was scheduled to participate in RIMPAC, but after a fire in May this year Kitty, already in the process of running down, quickly took up the slack while the George Washington proceeded to San Diego for repairs. The decommissioning of Kitty Hawk will see the end of an era as Kitty is the last of the conventionally powered US aircraft carriers. Nothing on Kitty Hawk is done in half measures, the logistics to support her and her air wing are staggering, and here are just some of the statistics; • 1961 construction cost US$265,200,000. • Annual Operating Budget - US$200 million (not including fuel) • Crew 5,300 • Diesel Fuel Capacity – 2,000,000 US gallons – requires a RAS every 4-5 days of up to 600,000 gallons • Supply manage 290,000 line items valued at US$300 million in 35 storerooms • Carries US$2 million of victuals fully stocked (20 day endurance) • Serves 18,000 plus meals daily • Ship’s annual canteen sales in excess of US$2,500,000 • Wardroom staff maintain 220 staterooms • In excess of 2,400 compartments and spaces • Mail Office processes 1125 kgs of mail daily • Carries 75 + aircraft • Flight deck covers 4.1 acres • Conducted 936 air serials (1,437 hrs) consuming 2,757,043 gallons of aviation fuel. RIMPAC for the Kitty Hawk was ops normal because Kitty only has one operating speed and that’s full on and everything to do with the exercise seemed to revolve around the carrier, there’s nothing like being the centre of attention. The Kitty Hawk crew, and in particular the Supply Department, are highly professional, well trained and organised, well funded, very task focused and extremely courteous. Our supply systems operate on a similar basis and we both are faced with similar problems. Their aircraft and ships break as often as ours but the USN have the advantage of sheer numbers and a massive support system. Kitty Hawk’s final contribution to RIMPAC 2008 was to host a reception for 2,000 personnel from the 10 nations that participated. I can say it was an excellent night and the Australian contribution of kangaroo sausages, crocodile and camel to name a few were very well received. My month on board the Kitty Hawk was a real eye opener and I would recommend that if an opportunity presents itself to work with U.S. Navy that you to take it.