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Release No: 645-95
December 08, 1995



The Department of the Navy will commission the nuclear-powered aircraftcarrier

John C. Stennis (CVN 74) at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Norfolk NavalStation, Norfolk, Va.

Secretary of Defense William J. Perry will be the ceremony's principalspeaker. Margaret Stennis-Womble, the ship's sponsor and daughter of the lateSenator John Stennis, will attend the ceremony.

Distinguished guests will include Senators StromThurmond, Thad Cochran, JohnW. Warner, Kent Conrad, Trent Lott, Charles S. Robb and Dirk Kempthorne;Congressmen G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, Norm Sisisky, Owen Pickett, Gene Taylor,Robert Underwood, Robert Scott, Bennie Thompson, and Todd Tiahrt; and theHonorable Kirk Fordice, Governor of Mississippi.

Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton; Chief of Naval Operations Admiral MikeBoorda; Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command General John J. Sheehan; andCommander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Admiral William J. Flanagan willrepresent the Navy.

The carrier is named for the late Mississippi Senator, John C. Stennis, whoserved in the United States Senate from the administration of President HarryTruman in 1947 through the Reagan administration in 1988. During his 41-yearcareer in the Senate, Senator Stennis served as chairman of the Senate ArmedServices Committee from 1969-1980. For his consistent support of a strongNaval force, the Senator earned the reputation as "the father of America'smodern Navy." Stennis retired from the Senate in 1988 and passed away on April23, 1995.

John C. Stennis is the eighth nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the seventhof the Nimitz class. Its primary mission is to support and operate aircraftthat can engage in attack on airborne, afloat and ashore targets and insustained operations in support of other forces. The John C. Stennis is 1,092feet long, has a width of 257 feet, a waterline beam of 134 feet and a combatload displacement of 97,000 tons. The ship has four deck-edge elevators, threeon the starboard side and one on the port, and four catapults. Two nuclearreactors generate steam, which turns the ship's four propellers to drive thecarrier through the water at more than 30 knots.

With its airwing embarked, the carrier will have about 6,200 crewmembers andabout 80 aircraft, ready for the full range of aviation warfare -- fromreconnaissance, to strike, to air defense. The modern aircraft on thecarrier's deck will include the F/A-18 "Hornet" strike fighter; the F-14"Tomcat" fighter; the E-2C "Hawkeye" airborne early warning aircraft; the S-3B"Viking" anti-submarine aircraft; the EA-6B "Prowler" electronic warfareaircraft; and the multi-role SH-60F "Seahawk" helicopter.

John C. Stennis will be commanded by Capt. Robert C. Klosterman, USN, a nativeof Cincinnati, Ohio, currently residing in Norfolk, Virginia, the carrier'shomeport.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Cmdr. Kevin Wensing atNaval Air Force Public Affairs at (804) 444-3373.

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