NEWPORT NEWS, VA (Covering Katy News) – The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, currently known as CVN 79, will get its official name the USS John F. Kennedy on Saturday Dec. 7, 2019 and a Katy native will have a hand in the historic day.
Chief Information Systems Technician Yolanda Corro of Katy will serve onboard the Navy’s second Ford-class aircraft carrier. She was also assigned to the pre-commissioning unit and will participate in the christening. Corro graduated from Katy High School in 2000.
“Being part of the pre-commissioning unit of the John F. Kennedy is an honor, and joining the Navy Dec. 7, 2004, 15 years on active duty, now celebrating the christening of this incredible ship, is a real honor for me,” said Corro, who checked on board Sept. 30.
The former ambassador to Japan and President John F. Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy will break the ceremonial champaign bottle against the ships bow at the Huntington-Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard in Newport News, VA.
On Nov. 6, nearly a month earlier, the crew of PCU John F. Kennedy officially revealed the carrier’s seal. The seal is crafted to integrate elements that honor President Kennedy's service to the Navy, and his vision for space exploration.
It features 35 stars located around the outer ring that represent John F. Kennedy as our nation’s 35th president. The 35th star is positioned after his middle initial and the two gold stars placed between CVN and the number 79 symbolize the fact that this is the second aircraft carrier bearing his name and legacy.
The Roman numeral “CIX” or 109, is a tribute to President Kennedy’s naval service as commander of Patrol Boat 109 in the South Pacific.
Additionally, the moon backdrop represents President Kennedy’s instrumental role in the nation’s space program.
“John F. Kennedy displayed extraordinary courage, both in combat as a naval officer, and as president of the United States,” said Capt. Todd Marzano, the ship’s first Commanding Officer. “The seal design and ship’s motto are a very powerful and fitting way to honor President Kennedy’s legacy.”
Anchoring these and other elements on the seal is the ship’s motto – Serve with Courage.
“Serving with courage means to me standing strong with the will power to keep this nation safe,” Corro said.
Other recent milestones PCU John F. Kennedy have completed include the ship’s dry dock was flooded on Oct. 29, officially launching the aircraft carrier approximately three months earlier than expected. The ship's keel was laid on Aug. 22, 2015, and placement of the 588-metric ton island superstructure was completed on May 29, 2019.
PCU John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) is the second aircraft carrier in the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)-class. With its embarked air wing and other carrier strike group assets, CVN 79 will serve as the centerpiece of national defense, providing the core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance.
The original John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier is no longer in service but it's still floating. It is docked in Philadelphia.
Click above to see a picture of the nation's newest aircraft carrier.