Opinion

Welcome to Kitsap County USS Kitty Hawk

The USS Kitty Hawk docked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton on Tuesday, bringing a crew of 1,600 to Kitsap County.

We welcome the crew and their families and hope you will find the area as enjoyable as we do. Although many of you will undoubtedly move out of state as the aircraft carrier nears decommissioning in January 2009, those who are able to stay in the area should find it a very enjoyable place to live and raise a family.

The area has gone through many changes since the Kitty Hawk’s last visit to Bremerton in 1982 when it underwent a yearlong overhaul. Silverdale is now a bustling retail district and its population continues to steadily increase each year. Although Silverdale is not a city, it provides a broad range of amenities and activities. The Central Kitsap area is surrounded by beauty, whether it’s the Brothers Mountains towering over the waters of Hood Canal or a local park not too far from the everyday hustle and bustle. Spend a few hours discovering Central Kitsap and it won’t take long to appreciate all it has to offer.

The Kitty Hawk is rich with years of history and we are proud to host this ship right here in our hometown.

In honor of an era ending, we thought it was only appropriate to list a few interesting facts about the 47-year-old ship, courtesy of www.kittyhawk.navy.mil:

• Kitty Hawk was constructed by the New York Shipbuilding Corp. at Camden, N.J. and was commissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on April 29, 1961.

• It cost $265.2 million to build in 1961.

• The flight deck area covers 4.1 acres and the ship towers 201 feet above the waterline.

• Kitty Hawk is the last diesel-fuel powered aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy. It’s fuel capacity is 2 million gallons.

• It is the second U.S. Navy ship named after the small North Carolina town close to where Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first-ever successful, controlled, powered aircraft on Dec. 17, 1903.

• The aircraft carrier first visited Bremerton in 1976 for a yearlong overhaul. It’s next and last visit was in 1982 (until now).

• San Diego served as the ship’s first homeport, but departed in 1962 on its first extended Western Pacific deployment. From 1963-1976, it completed eight extended deployments, including six in support of American forces in Vietnam.

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