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Published:November 14th, 2006 08:07 EST
Japan-Based Media Visit Kitty Hawk

Japan-Based Media Visit Kitty Hawk

By SOP newswire

USS KITTY HAWK, At Sea (NNS) -- Fourteen media members from the Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, area visited USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Nov. 10, during the exercise ANNUALEX 18G.

Battle Force 7th Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Douglas McClain briefed the video and print reporters and photographers about the exercise, which kicked off Nov. 9 and ends Nov. 16.

“Bringing media is very important,” said photojournalist Katsuhiko Tokunaga. “People in Japan can visit bases easy – Yokota, Yokosuka or Atsugi.

“A carrier is kind of isolated,” he said. “If you don’t give access (to the media), people never know what’s going on out here.”

About 8,500 U.S. Sailors are taking part aboard 13 ships, submarines and various shore-based aircraft. About 90 Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and 130 aircraft are also participating.

“We don’t exercise with anyone else on this scale,” said Cmdr. Russ Blair, Battle Force 7th Fleet exercise and plans officer. “This is [also] one of the largest fleet training exercises we participate in.”

U.S. ships taking part in this, the 18th ANNUALEX, are Kitty Hawk, the guided-missile cruisers USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Shiloh (CG 67); guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis W. Wilbur (DDG 54), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Halsey (DDG 97); the high-speed vessel Swift (HSV 2); and submarines USS Seawolf (SSN 21) and USS Asheville (SSN 758).

U.S. 7th Fleet is made up of about 50 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

For related news, visit the USS Kitty Hawk Strike Group Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cv63/.

SourceL  U.S. Navy