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Oldest Active Navy Ship To Be Decommisioned

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
YOKOSUKA, Japan — The oldest active ship in the U.S. Navy, the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, made its final departure from Japan on Wednesday to be decommissioned after nearly half a century of service.
Article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,359065,00.html

The USS Kitty Hawk is the last of the conventionally powered carriers left in the fleet. She is to be replaced by the USS George Washington.

This wasn't in the article but the US wants to maintain a total of 11 carriers overall. The newest ship that will soon be joining the fleet is the carrier USS George H. W. Bush.
post #2 of 24
Well, at least we still have aircraft carriers. And they're good, modern carriers. It was a sad day when our last battleship was decommissioned. But I suppose there's some sense to it when the Persian Gulf is the hot spot and those monsters take up the whole Gulf to turn around in.

Seriously, though, I am concerned that our Navy has become too weak through its down-sizing. It's not just a matter of not having enough ships and seamen, it's also a matter of the ships not having either the defensive or conventional offensive capabilities they should have. A few cruise missles fired off by Iran could cause another Pearl Harbor, though this time it would be "Persian Gulf." Battleships can be recommissioned and updated. One was used in the first Gulf War. Heck, look at the B-52. Some of them are approaching a half-century in age, and they're still going strong through refurbs, updates, upgrades and retrofits.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Well, at least we still have aircraft carriers. And they're good, modern carriers. It was a sad day when our last battleship was decommissioned. But I suppose there's some sense to it when the Persian Gulf is the hot spot and those monsters take up the whole Gulf to turn around in.

Seriously, though, I am concerned that our Navy has become too weak through its down-sizing. It's not just a matter of not having enough ships and seamen, it's also a matter of the ships not having either the defensive or conventional offensive capabilities they should have. A few cruise missles fired off by Iran could cause another Pearl Harbor, though this time it would be "Persian Gulf." Battleships can be recommissioned and updated. One was used in the first Gulf War. Heck, look at the B-52. Some of them are approaching a half-century in age, and they're still going strong through refurbs, updates, upgrades and retrofits.
The big problem they had before when they brought the battleships back in the 1980's was the fact that there are almost no liners left for the massive gun tubes on those things. All the machinery used to make them was dismantled and scrapped decades ago. They were going to scratch the entire program, but they found something like 16 or 20 liners in the Phillippines at an old naval base there.

Of course, they'd make great platforms for the new rail guns they're experimenting with

Or, with missiles being the main long range armament, they could always downsize the guns to something still in production, like 8 inchers (for those up close and personal engagements)
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
All the machinery used to make them was dismantled and scrapped decades ago.
Yes, and that's something that REALLY worries me. We've lost the ability to produce many things needed to supply our military.
Quote:
To a large extent, the six big American prime defense contractors have become assemblers ("system integrators") of components outsourced around the world
from here -> http://www.americaneconomicalert.org...p?Prod_ID=2649

Heck, everyone's heard the common phrase: "If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can .... " (fill in something) BUT we can't put a man on the moon anymore. The technology and expertise have been disassembled, scrapped, retired, and replaced by low earth-orbit technology. We can't get out of earth orbit anymore with vehicles large enough to get to the moon and back.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Speaking of battleships, as a former ground pounder it was comforting to know that the big guns of the USS Missouri and USS Wisconsin were available for support during Desert Storm- if needed. Even though the Iowa class battleships were removed from active service a few of them were still maintained in the budget until 2006 in case they were needed. Sadly, in this day and age with the technology of ship and aircraft launched missiles we'll probably never see a battleship on the seas again. I have to wonder what the cost is to upkeep an Iowa class ship is.

Getting back to the USS Kitty Hawk, the rest of the ships in her class: USS America, the USS Constellation, and the USS John F. Kennedy were decommisioned in 1996, 2003 and 2007, respectively. They were the second class of ships to be called "supercarriers", the first was the Forrestal Class.
post #6 of 24
I'm surprised they are going to name an aircraft carrier after a president that is still alive.
post #7 of 24
The author of the article did make one wee mistake.

THIS is the oldest ship in the U.S. Navy

Still carrying her armaments and still commissioned as a Warship in the U.S. Navy, the 1797 USS Constitution.
post #8 of 24
That thought occurred to me, too, but Old Ironsides is not actually active, although she is actually manned at all times.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
I'm surprised they are going to name an aircraft carrier after a president that is still alive.
Me too! That kind of goes against a long standing navy tradition to not name ships after living people.

I'm still waiting for the USS John Wayne to be built and commissioned.

I forgot about the USS Constitution still being commissioned.
post #10 of 24
What a gorgeous, magnificent and proud warship!! And I don't know how many times I've been to Boston and never had a decent chance to go see her. It was always, "Well, maybe next time." And then there was no more next time. Anybody reading this, if you ever get the chance, don't miss it!!
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essayons89 View Post
Me too! That kind of goes against a long standing navy tradition to not name ships after living people.

I'm still waiting for the USS John Wayne to be built and commissioned.

I forgot about the USS Constitution still being commissioned.
I really doubt that you'll ever see a USS John Wayne, it would be way, way too controversial.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
I really doubt that you'll ever see a USS John Wayne, it would be way, way too controversial.
Unfortunately, you're probably right. Shame, nothing says "kick butt" more than a USS John Wayne.
post #13 of 24
Well, that's a shame!! There's the USS Ronald Reagan. They're both actors, right?
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Well, that's a shame!! There's the USS Ronald Reagan. They're both actors, right?
Well, it's not the fact he was an actor that is the controversial part. It's the military service thing. During WWII, for years the official studio story was that John Wayne didn't serve in the military (ever) because he was classed 4F for an old football injury. But when the selective service dept released the records in the 70's, it was discovered that he was never disqualified. He was just deferred for his age and family obligations. Then, toward the end of the war, he was reclassified as 1A. Here comes the part that no one except he and the studio ever knew for sure!!
Allegedly, when he was given the 1A class, he begged the studio to intervene on his behalf. True or not, the studio did intervene, and got him reclassified again to deferred in the national interest. It's one of those "some believe it, some don't" type of things.

The military also flatly refused to endorse his movie "The Green Berets", because even thought the movie was highly patriotic, it was based on a book that depicted the Green Berets in the story as barbaric, murderous thugs.
post #15 of 24
I remember a little of the controversey about the USS Ronald Reagan. Some of the thinking was that since he already had a terminal illness, they were covered. I disagreed with that naming, but hey, they never asked me, did they?
post #16 of 24
This thread got me thinking on the "naming ships after living persons" subject, and I did some research. It's a "rule" that they seem to be willing to bend at times.

Did you know that the last of the SeaWolf submarines is the "USS Jimmy Carter"
post #17 of 24
I guess that's appropriate. I don't think I'd want to be skipper on that boat, though.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
This thread got me thinking on the "naming ships after living persons" subject, and I did some research. It's a "rule" that they seem to be willing to bend at times.

Did you know that the last of the SeaWolf submarines is the "USS Jimmy Carter"
Now there's a boat that instills a lot of pride!
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
Well, it's not the fact he was an actor that is the controversial part. It's the military service thing. During WWII, for years the official studio story was that John Wayne didn't serve in the military (ever) because he was classed 4F for an old football injury. But when the selective service dept released the records in the 70's, it was discovered that he was never disqualified. He was just deferred for his age and family obligations. Then, toward the end of the war, he was reclassified as 1A. Here comes the part that no one except he and the studio ever knew for sure!!
Allegedly, when he was given the 1A class, he begged the studio to intervene on his behalf. True or not, the studio did intervene, and got him reclassified again to deferred in the national interest. It's one of those "some believe it, some don't" type of things.

The military also flatly refused to endorse his movie "The Green Berets", because even thought the movie was highly patriotic, it was based on a book that depicted the Green Berets in the story as barbaric, murderous thugs.
Wow, I never knew that. Thanks for the info. How old was he during WWII, was he that old or was he just chicken?
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Wow, I never knew that. Thanks for the info. How old was he during WWII, was he that old or was he just chicken?
He was 38 when the war began. He was actually too old for a direct combat role anyway. I believe that its one of those things where we'll never know the whole story. Honestly, I think that anyone with a half decent reason would have stayed home.

The only thing about the stories that I find disturbing is his alleged assault of a couple of young soldiers (while backed up by his bully entourage) that "dared" to question his not being in uniform. If that really happened, then it's just plain tacky
post #21 of 24
There were any number of actors excused military service and/or combat duty because of their importance to the country filming patriotic war movies. Some of them were in uniform while they were doing that and some were not. But Hollywood played a pretty big part in keeping up morale back home and in raising funds through the sale of war bonds.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
There were any number of actors excused military service and/or combat duty because of their importance to the country filming patriotic war movies. Some of them were in uniform while they were doing that and some were not. But Hollywood played a pretty big part in keeping up morale back home and in raising funds through the sale of war bonds.
This is quite true. But those other actors didn't become "super patriots" later in life, calling war protesters "cowards", "commies" or other vile, choice names, and they certainly didn't punch out real vets (the one's whose wars didn't have commissary breaks) for questioning their "moral fiber".

I also found out tonight while researching this in 1971 John Wayne gave an interview to Playboy magazine where apparently he made some very blunt, deeply racist statements. The more I look into him, the less I like him.

Like I said, I have no way of knowing how much of any of that is true, but if half of it is, then John Wayne was nothing but a schmuck.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
This is quite true. But those other actors didn't become "super patriots" later in life, calling war protesters "cowards", "commies" or other vile, choice names, and they certainly didn't punch out real vets (the one's whose wars didn't have commissary breaks) for questioning their "moral fiber".

I also found out tonight while researching this in 1971 John Wayne gave an interview to Playboy magazine where apparently he made some very blunt, deeply racist statements. The more I look into him, the less I like him.

Like I said, I have no way of knowing how much of any of that is true, but if half of it is, then John Wayne was nothing but a schmuck.
I don't agree with everything John Wayne said and did but I do love his movies.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
Like I said, I have no way of knowing how much of any of that is true, but if half of it is, then John Wayne was nothing but a schmuck.
You're probably right; plenty of actors are schmucks in real life. I prefer to remember his larger-than-life big-screen image. And if he was a schmuck in real life, I don't see any reason to destroy that image. We all know it's pure fiction, anyway.
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