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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's New War: USS Kitty Hawk

Aired October 2, 2001 - 06:35   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: With a look now at the massive capabilities of the Kitty Hawk, let's check in now with our Kyra Phillips. Kyra, good morning.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Leon.

Massive is right. Carriers are crucial in combat, therefore life aboard these military vessels is just as important. So we want to take you inside these carriers and show you what the city at sea is like to live on for months on end.

Now, there are several battle groups in place right now in the Mediterranean Sea, and just yesterday the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk was deployed to the Indian Ocean. The U.S.S. Kitty Hawk was commissioned in April 1961. It cost $400 million to build. Takeoffs and landings on its turbocharged four-acre flight deck are crucial to U.S. operations aboard.

But what goes on behind the scenes and below the surface is equally fascinating. The Kitty Hawk is 1,069 feet long. That's bigger than three football fields. It stands keel to mast 201 feet high. And the flight deck is just more than four acres. All to support a crew of 5,500 people, including the air wing.

Now, you have to do your laundry, you need a haircut, and you have to eat. So let's look at some parts of the everyday life that goes on along with military duties. You might get sick, so there's four physicians and surgeons on board the Kitty Hawk, and five dentists. And if you have a legal matter to tend to, two lawyers are on board. If you need to pray or you want to go to church, there are three chaplains, and there are four stores on ship.

Show time for movies, 17,000 meals served, including every day they go through 400 to 600 gallons of milk, between 9,600 to 12,000 eggs, and their daily bread, 800 to 1,000 loaves of bread, 380,000 gallons of water distilled every day. You get a haircut from two barbers. Plenty of dirty clothes at the one laundry facility, and the phone lines get a workout. There are 2,400 telephones, and one post office with 1,500 pounds of mail going through there every day.

Now, on another aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, sailors make more than 94,000 phone calls, and every day there are almost 29,000 e-mails sent and received, which averages out to about seven each day for each person on the Enterprise. The public affairs office of the Enterprise, the PAO, publishes two daily newspapers, Big-E News at noon, a Big-E radio station, Familygram once a month, and has movies and network TV and with satellite TV has live sports events, and of course, CNN. We can't forget that, right?

LIN: Hey, yes, that's good to hear.

HARRIS: Well, they take the time in between the emailing, they may be able to watch us.

PHILLIPS: Hey, they got to stay up on the news, what a better way to cover...

LIN: Yes, they can e-mail us.

PHILLIPS: Yes, there you go. Well, now they will, now they're watching.

LIN: With their questions on the economy.

PHILLIPS: All right.

HARRIS: I don't think that's what questioning right now. All right, thanks, Kyra.

LIN: Thanks, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: You bet.

LIN: That was interesting.

Well, in the midst of religious and humanitarian strife lies a reminder of times past.

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