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Battle brewing over USS Kitty Hawk

READ MORE: Battle brewing over USS Kitty Hawk
WILMINGTON -- A battle is brewing over a plan to bring the USS Kitty Hawk to the Port City. New Hanover County commissioners and city leaders support the idea. But not everyone is onboard with the idea of an aircraft carrier joining our battle ship. Local leaders met Monday to discuss the idea of bringing the aircraft carrier to Wilmington in 2012. But critics argue the ship will be a drain on the city's resources and infrastructure. Local leaders at the city and county level say the USS Kitty Hawk belongs in North Carolina, which is why they're pushing hard to make Wilmington it's final resting place. Military historian Wilbur Jones is working with local officials on the idea. The first major hurdle is finding a spot to park the massive aircraft carrier. At nearly 1.5 times longer than the Battleship North Carolina it's too big to fit through the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. The other issue is money. Jones said the project would largely be funded through private donations. Jones said, "The ship will have to be towed from Bremmerton, Washington around Cape Horn, South America and the early estimate would be about $7 million to tow it." Capt. David Scheu is in charge of the Battleship North Carolina. Even if the $7 million towing fee is privately funded, he sees the Kitty Hawk as a major financial burden for the area. Capt. Scheu "If you look at the infrastructure requirements, there is no infrastructure here to support such a thing." Scheu says berthing requirements, building a pier and ship maintenance are multi-million dollar expenses. Then there's the challenge of bringing in visitors. He says the battleship drew nearly 200,000 visitors last year. He estimates the Kitty Hawk would need to bring in between 300,000 and 350,000 visitors a year just to break even. But Jones says there is a plan. "The carrier Kitty Hawk, which will have been in service for 47 years, we figure will have about 40,000 people who have served in the air group or in ship's company -- look at all the visitors, the reunions, and potential fundraising we'd be able to get for that 40,000," Jones said. "That's not going to do it," Scheu said. "That's nice, that you've got three generations of crew members, but that's still not a big enough base." After the Kitty Hawk ends its service in November of 2008 the ship will be prepared to be used as a museum. The Navy will then make it available for donation to communities. At the earliest that will happen in 2012.

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I hope they bring it back

I hope they bring it back

USS Kitty Hawk CV-63

A beautiful ship, life saver and one of many defenders of America. Her history alone, the lives she changed. 40 thousand sounds like a low estimate with 5008 onboard at any given time coming on and off her. For all her years of service that includes The Marines. Us boys in blue haven't forgotten the Green. You make her a museum we will come. She made us men.

I am not sure about

I am not sure about Wilmington, but if funding is possible, then I think it would be great to preserve the ship here in NC. Shame this didnt happen to the USS America. I understand some ships are need to be sunk for research, but lets think about it first. We cant bring them back up. Some things need to be saved. Stop wasteful spending in govt, and there would be plenty of money to preserve history.

USS Kittyhawk

As a former member of her crew even the thought of sinking the HAWK and turning her into a reef is appauling. The great history of our ship is something we cannot turn our back on and sink it of the east coast. The things the HAWK has done for this country, and you want to sink her....pretty pathetic North Carolina

Give me a break!

OH please, don't flatter yourself! FYI, I'm interested in goin to school, and making it on my own rather than living off the goverment or state! No, still uninsured, went to the hospital for a week and paying the full price for the care they provided!!! But thats not what this blog is about is it? No, didn't think so. Why do you feel the need to prove that you are smarter than everyone else? A little insecure are we? I'm not ignorant and I do know anyone and everyone can post here, however not everyone is as much as a opininated, know it all such as yourself!!!! Once again thank you for granting everyone with your high profile opinion and have a great day!!!! :)

Kitty Hawk History

The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk is the first in a class of three super carriers. Constructed by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation at Camden, N.J., Kitty Hawk was commissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on April 29, 1961. It is the second U.S. Navy ship named after the small North Carolina town near which Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first-ever successful, controlled, powered aircraft on Dec. 17, 1903. Following commissioning, Kitty Hawk’s first commanding officer, Capt. William F. Bringle, took his new ship around South America to its new homeport in San Diego. Kitty Hawk departed San Diego in September 1962 on her first extended Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment. From 1963 to 1976, Hawk and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 completed eight extended deployments, including six in support of American forces in Vietnam. In March 1976, Kitty Hawk underwent a yearlong overhaul in Bremerton, Wash., to convert from an attack (CVA) to a multi-mission carrier (CV). Additional changes allowed Kitty Hawk to launch and recover the Navy’s new F-14 Tomcat and S-3 Viking aircraft. In the late '70s, the ship teamed with CVW-15 for another WESTPAC deployment, which included search and assistance operations to aid Vietnamese refugees. Hawk also offered contingency support off the coast of Korea. The deployment was then extended to support contingency operations in the North Arabian Sea during the Iran hostage crisis. Hawk returned to San Diego in February 1980, and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Battle Efficiency “E” as the best carrier in the Pacific Fleet. In January 1982, Kitty Hawk returned to Bremerton for another yearlong overhaul. Following comprehensive upgrades Kitty Hawk deployed with CVW-2, in 1984 as the flagship for Battle Group Bravo. The ship returned to San Diego Aug. 1, 1984, and in July 1985, Kitty Hawk and CVW-9 deployed again as flagship for Battle Group Bravo. CVW-9 crews logged more than 18,000 flight hours and 7,300 arrested landings. Kitty Hawk bade farewell to San Diego Jan. 3, 1987, setting out on a six-month world cruise. Hawk and CVW-9 spent 106 consecutive days on station in the Indian Ocean, being awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. The cruise ended at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard July 3. Six months later, Kitty Hawk began a six-month overhaul. With the return of CVW-15 to its decks, Kitty Hawk began its second deployment around “the Horn” of South America to its original homeport of San Diego Dec. 11, 1991. In August 1992, Kitty Hawk was appointed as Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet’s “ready carrier.” The ship embarked Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5; Commander, Destroyer Squadron 17 and CVW-15 for work-ups before deploying to the Western Pacific in November. Kitty Hawk spent nine days off the coast of Somalia supporting Operation Restore Hope. Kitty Hawk began her 18th deployment in October 1996. During the six-month underway period, the ship visited ports in the Arabian Gulf and Western Pacific. Hawk returned to San Diego April 11, 1997, immediately beginning a 15-month overhaul. Kitty Hawk departed San Diego July 6, 1998, to assume new duties as America’s only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier from USS Independence (CV 62). Hawk also welcomed aboard CVW-5, operating from Atsugi, Japan. Kitty Hawk arrived at her new operating location of Yokosuka, Japan, Aug. 11, 1998. Kitty Hawk set sail for a planned three-month deployment March 2, 1999 and was ordered to the Arabian Gulf to enforce the No-Fly Zone over Southern Iraq. CVW-5 pilots flew more than 8,800 sorties in 116 days, including 1,300 combat sorties, dropping more than 20 tons of ordnance. Hawk returned to Yokosuka Aug. 25, 1999. In 2000, Kitty Hawk conducted routine local area operations and participated in Exercise Cobra Gold and Exercise Foal Eagle, and departed again in March 2001 for a spring underway period. On March 22, 2001, Kitty Hawk became the first aircraft carrier to go pier-side in Singapore at the new Changi Naval Base Pier. In October, 2001, following the terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and World Trade Center, Kitty Hawk deployed to the North Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The ship served as an afloat forward staging base for U.S. special forces. Kitty Hawk received orders in February 2003 and was soon involved in Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom in the North Arabian Gulf, serving 104 continuous days at sea. Kitty Hawk returned to Yokosuka May 6, entering a dry-dock period ending Oct. 17. Kitty Hawk returned to Yokosuka May 6, entering a dry-dock period ending Oct. 17. 2004 was an eventful year that involved a series of inspections, exercises, and port visits. On Feb. 19, a new chapter in the book of Kitty Hawk Strike Group’s history began with the first landing of an F/A-18F Super Hornet on board Kitty Hawk’s 4.1-acre flight deck during the ship’s 12th FDNF underway period. The VFA-102 “Diamondbacks” introduced the improved F/A-18 E/F “Super Hornet” to the 7th Fleet area of operation, replacing the F-14 Tomcat, after more than 30 years of service.

ARTIFICIAL REEF is not a bad ideal.

What an innvestment this could be for NC. Our folks in Key West,FL are spending 6 Million on a artificial reef project which officials project an estimate of 8 Million a year in local revenue. Copy/Paste the link to your browser for details

USS Kitty Hawk

Would've been nice to include a picture of USS Kitty Hawk and Enterprise that was done. Shame on you for this sloppy work.


Dear Readers, First, I must say that I am about as far from wanting the convention center as one can possibly get... But, since it appears to be a "Done Deal" then I believe we need to add some more attractions to the downtown area! I believe the USS KITTY HAWK would not only attract visitors, but remember Jacksonville, Cherry Point, and the New River MCA stations are scheduled for appoximately 25,000 - 35,000 new residents! (Marines served aboard her also!) No one from "out-of-state" knows or really cares about the 1898 Memorial... But, the USS KITTY HAWK will attract tourist! I say if we have had the damn Convention Center "rammed" down our throats... We need some more tourist attractions! Our "elected leaders" rely way too damn much on the beach communities... Richard

No other City

No other city on the NC Coast can handle the USS KH!! What other city is bigger then wilmington? Jacksonville cant handle it. The City of Kitty Hawk cant handle it. This guy is right, its going to be a major financial responsibility BUT I personally think "IF U BRING IT, THEY WILL COME!" ...... THe tourist that is. Wilmington is the only city that can handle this. We are NC's only hope. Do we really want to see the KH stationed in VA or SC??


Here we go agian, commonsense has to put in his or her two cents! Would you get off it already? HOME= NORTH CAROLINA, OUR HISTORY= NC HISTORY!!!!! Get a clue before you start jumping all over people! As far as I can see your about the only one here who opposes! SOOOO obviously it means something to someone other than myself! Back off and get a life! Oh yea and have a great day! :)

Still smarting from that last spanking?

Did you buy your health insurance yet.....or are you still more interested in a nice car and cool apartment? When are you going to understand this basic concept, Tracy - EVERYONE has a right to post on these boards. That includes people who disagree with you. You shouldn't bear such animosity, simply because you're ignorant of basic economics.

Not the only one.....

While having another tourist attraction would be nice, why put more stress on an already ailing infrastructure such as New Hanover County? Capt. Scheu is in charge of the battleship North Carolina, and by the story, he doesn't believe it's a wise choice for taxpayers. Most people that support this have probably got county water and sewer. The seven million dollars it would take just to get it here would be better spent getting water and sewer service to the folks in the Wrightsboro area. They have been waiting for over 20 years after it was promised to them. Fixing the sewer system that IS in service would be a good start! The roads are in bad need of repair in many places. The list goes on and on. So bring in that money pit and remember, the next time you eat oysters, they may have come out of Hewletts Creek!

Let OBX take it

Let the yankees taking over the OBX take it and pay for it. Or better yet put yankees on it and THEN make it an artificial reef!

guest 45

your a very sad, sad person. There is help for people with your mentality. I sugguest you seek it out and pay for it with your medicaid. Sincerely,Yankee!


If we sink it "THEY WILL COME". Artificial reefs not only enhance fishery resources but also fishing and diving opportunities as well. Artificial reefs can enhance overfished populations of resident reef fish like snapper and grouper. Transient species like mackerel, shark and billfish can also benefit by feeding on the resident fish.

The Kitty Hawk in Kitty Hawk?

Why not consider placing it closer to the area from which it derived its name? The Outer Banks certainly draws more visitors, annually than Wilmington. If it can fit under the Oregon Inlet Bridge, you've got the opportunity to keep it in state in an area perhaps better able to fund the upkeep.

Recycle it!

Give it a new life, donate it to Israel and let them play with it for awhile. Might actually improve the situation in the Middle East to have this parked on the other side of the Palestinians and near Syria!

Kitty Hawk to Wilmington

This ship belongs in (and some might say to) North Carolina. If for no other reason, than it's name alone (and all the history that it denotes) should be enough of a reason to bring the boat home. As far as bringing it to Wilmington, it should bring a boost to tourism fro the area. How many people come to this area just to see the battleship? How many more would be become with more than one piece of history here? Look at the Intrepid museum in NYC. How many people visit it a year? Then there's Charleston, SC with the military exhibit it has with a carrier and a submarine. How many people travel there to see two pieces of history? I think it would be beneficial to our area to have more histiry available for people to see.

The ship belongs to the USA

The ship belongs to the USA tax payers. Where do you think the money came from, Raleigh?

A battle? Really?

I don't really think a "battle is brewing," but whatever. I mean, it's either going to be fiscally possible/responsible or it isn't. Local news. -Sigh-


It belongs here hint the name.

Great, bring it on back to NC

Just not this area. Not only will it not bring in the amount of tourists needed to keep itself afloat (pun definitely intended), but it'll sink the battleship as well by sniping its visitors. Then we'll be minus both boats. There's got to be room somewhere else. How about Pamlico somewhere, or Beaufort?

We want the kittyhawk

Look at how much tourism it will bring in, I think having the kittyhawk here would be excellant

If they want it.. It will come...

It would be a waste and dissapointment if we do not get to posess, as a city a piece of history such this. Besides being a money maker, it will serve as a historical artifact which will help to preserve our history, and it will be a floating museum of education for our young.

U.S.S. Kittyhawk

That would be a great tourist drawing addition to the U.S.S. North Carolina.


I totally agree. Its our duty to at least attempt to get it here in the port city. I think it would bring in the money. To go see the battle ship its like 8 bucks a person. SO charge more. Double it up to 16 bucks per person! It should be a OUTRAGE to have carrier go to another city. They say it cant fit under the Cape Fear. How difficult would it be to remove the lifting section of the bridge from long enough to move the carrier through it?? DOes anybody know for fact?? IT NEEDS TO BE HERE in the area. If it cant fit under the cape fear bridge no matter what, then it could be docked on the brunswick side of the river somewhere. WE NEED THIS. We cant give up!

Not that easy

It would be great if we could just "lift a multi-thousand pound piece of metal" out of the way to slide in a new money maker. However.. we have our own issues with the battle ship that need addressing. Such as, it is rotting and we can't fix it. We need to have the battle ship sent off to VA for structural repairs, or it will end up being a nice dive spot. BUT it's to tall to fit under the bridge.. and it's to wide to "swing out" into the river. It would tear up the new river walk and the retaining wall. The giant lifts and repair machinery can't come here because there's no stable ground in which to set them to work on the battle ship because the battle ship is surrounding by marsh land, plus it would ruin the marsh and that wouldn't make for happy eco-friendly-people. Why bring in another ship that is going to need repairs down the road that we can't get repairs done too. Not to mention the carrier is a lot longer than the battleship. How and Where would they park it? They wouldn't be able to "back it in" like the battle ship, because it would tear up Water St. Lets fix our issue with the rotting Battleship before we bring in another potential issue. As of right now, there is just no where to put an aircraft carrier. I feel that you are looking at a money maker and not the big picture here. And to charge 16 bucks for the battleship would be an outrage and a scam. History, especially state history should be funded by the state. Natural History museums and things like the battleship, and Fort Fisher should be free to the public. When did we start putting a price on learning? Before you go looking at moving a "piece of metal" out of the way to throw in another "tourist trap" take a look at the whole picture and what we already have going on.

That would be great! It

That would be great! It would draw more tourists and be a source for increased revenue for the Cape Fear area. It's sad that Captain Scheu (RETIRED) is afraid of a little competition. Why I would think that a retired navy guy would be more of a team player and embrace the idea rather than put it down right from the start.

Method to their madness

"Hey, I've got it! We need to come up with an idea that is SO big, SO nonsensical, and SO expensive, that people stop complaining about the convention center."