Navy News Service (17/00) April 20, 2000

NNS1701. CNO pays a visit to Guam, USS Kitty Hawk

By Journalist 2nd Class Heather Paynter, COMNAVMARIANAS
Public Affairs
    GUAM (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jay L.
Johnson visited USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) April 19, on the last
day of its four-day stop in Guam. Kitty Hawk, forward
deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, is the U.S. Navy's only
permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier.
    As Sailors from Kitty Hawk; U.S. Naval Forces Marianas;
USS Frank Cable (AS 40) -- Guam's only homeported Navy ship;
and Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 5 made their way
into the ship's hangar bay, many expressed curiosity about
the message Johnson would deliver.
    Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class(AW) Cesar Bachman
from San Ramon, Calif. was one of those waiting for his
arrival. Bachman saw the Admiral on the CNO's visit to Kitty
Hawk last year, but was still curious enough to work his way
up to the front row. "I'm pretty excited," he said. "It will
be interesting to hear what he has to say. If he says we
have to go somewhere, then we'll go. We're the 911."
    However, that wasn't the message to be delivered this
day. "Last year I was here to inform you of the schedule
change to the Gulf," Johnson said, referring to the Kitty
Hawk Sailors. "Today I'm here to deliver a message, but
that's not the one. I want to tell you all, whether you work
on Kitty Hawk, Frank Cable, on base, or at HC-5, how proud I
am of what you represent each and every day."
    The CNO went on to speak of recruiting and retention
challenges, but was optimistic about the ultimate success of
the Navy and Marine Corps in meeting their recruiting goals.
He also congratulated Sailors on board Kitty Hawk for their
impressive retention statistics, including receipt of
CINCPACFLT's Retention Excellence Award. "Your retention
numbers blew me away when I saw them," said Johnson.
    Johnson said the key to the Navy's success is effective
leadership, teamwork and pride. Improving quality of life
for those serving at sea is one element in sustaining that
success. "Efforts to fill empty sea billets are ongoing and
improving. Things are getting better," he said. "We're
moving towards gradually working the number of empty at-sea
billets down to zero."
    The CNO pointed out to all the Sailors present that
without them, the Navy could not be what it is today. "The
key to success in the U.S. Navy is standing right in front
of me," he said. "Without you, there would be nothing. You
need to be proud of what you do each and every day."
    For more about USS Kitty Hawk, go to:
    For more about USS Frank Cable, go to:
    For more about the Navy in Guam, go to: