USS John F. Kennedy  (Source: JFK CV-67 Memorial Foundation)
Supporters rally to save the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy from being scuttled

Visitors to San Diego’s tourism corridor have seen and likely visited the former USS Midway that is now the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum.

Navy personnel and civilians are now fighting to save another famous U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). The carrier was recently decommissioned and its tenth commanding officer, Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez (retired) is attempting to save the carried from a watery grave as an artificial reef and turn it into a tourist attraction. A previously decommissioned aircraft carrier, the USS Oriskany, was sunk to form an artificial reef in 2006.

Hernandez says, “"There is a higher use for this $1.5 billion US taxpayer asset. The John F. Kennedy Maritime Museum will profitably serve south Florida as a platform for education where parents, children and educators can learn firsthand the role that history, math, science, geography, social studies, seamanship and aviation play, in real-life terms that kids can get excited about!"

Hernandez and other team members are trying to mobilize some of the 500,000 plus veterans that served on the USS John F. Kennedy during the ships service life they say are necessary for the success of the plan to save the carrier. The key to saving the ship according to Hernandez is, “The key to our ultimate success is to prove to the Navy in a highly-detailed way that our business plan provides the self-sustaining solution to the US Taxpayers' problem.”

Paul Troxell, founder of the JFK CV-67 Memorial Foundation says, “Tourism revenue is the key to ensuring that this vessel will sustain itself in perpetuity and the "John F. Kennedy" name combined with our choice of location for this major attraction, adjacent to one of the world's largest cruise embarkation ports in either Miami or Fort Lauderdale, virtually guarantees 1.2 million-plus annual visitors.” The team points to the former USS Midway in San Diego as an example, that ship drew 900,000 visitors in 2006. In a time where military projects are overshooting budgets, many feel the U.S. Navy would be keen to look for alternate uses for decommissioned assets.

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