VALLETTA, Malta (NNS) -- The U.S. aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (JFK) (CVN 67) arrived here in June for a goodwill port visit as part of the ship's current deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.
While in port, the approximately 5,000 crew members will have a chance to sightsee, enjoy recreational activities, and participate in other cultural exchanges with the citizens of Malta. It marks the first port call for the ship, which left its homeport of Mayport, Fla., June 7.
"I am excited to pull into Malta because it is such a historical place," said Airman Aaron Kessler, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83 aboard Kennedy. "I am looking forward to seeing the art and archeological sites."
John F. Kennedy Strike Group, which includes USS Vicksburg (CG 69), USS Spruance (DD 963), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Toledo (SSN 769) and USS Seattle (AOE 3), is currently taking part in Summer Pulse '04.
Summer Pulse is the Navy's first initiative under the new Fleet Response Plan (FRP). As part of this exercise, seven carrier strike groups are currently under way in five theaters around the globe. It demonstrates the Navy's ability - and capabilities - to operate with joint forces simultaneously around the globe.
"Summer Pulse proves we can deploy persistent, credible combat power across multiple operating areas in conjunction with our allies," said Rear Adm. Donald K. Bullard, commander of the Kennedy Strike Group. "Summer Pulse '04 and FRP build global confidence in the Navy's readiness to execute a multi-carrier surge during a national emergency."
Kennedy was commissioned in 1968. The ship is 1,052 feet long, 252 feet wide and displaces more than 80,000 tons. The flight deck covers more than 4.5 acres. The ship is commanded by Capt. Stephen G. Squires.
JFK last visited Malta in 1999.
For more information on Summer Pulse '04, please visit www.cffc.navy.mil/summerpulse04.htm.
For related news, visit the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cv67.