A message from Project President Frank Lennon
I have been made aware that the Kitsap, Washington newspaper wrote an article a couple of days ago about the decision to scrap Kitty Hawk. At the end of the article it is reported that the CNO also removed JFK from donation status, and that the Navy plans to scrap JFK as well.
We received a telephone call from the Navy confirming this was the plan.
Needless to say, this is disappointing news, although not entirely unexpected given our inability to move forward until the new administration had its Navy civilian leadership team in place. We wrote to SECNAV on November 4 and are still working our request at the highest levels of the Navy (and in Congress, if needed.)
From past history, we know that it is not unusual for the Navy to move ships in and out of donation status. That happened twice with Saratoga, and has occurred with smaller ships as well. We are reasonably certain that if we are able to offer a viable berthing option that administrative designation can be reversed.
From past history, we also know that scrapping a carrier is a complex, time-consuming and expensive process. (Just look at Saratoga; it took years to finalize a contract, then the scrapper went bankrupt. The job is still not finished.)
We find it hard to believe that the Navy would go that route when a different solution was available.
Thanks to all of you for your expressions of support, and desire to take action – we will want your help – but before several uncoordinated outreach efforts kick off, we are working to figure out who the best recipient of those messages might be, and the best way to deliver them with the most impact. Give us a couple of days to come up with a direction.
Believe me, we are doing everything we can. I have 20 years invested (virtually full time, with zero compensation) in the effort to bring a carrier to Narragansett Bay, and I will fight for this vision to my last breath.
Expect another update within a week.
— Frank Lennon