John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk.

June 06, 1963

Admiral and gentlemen:

On behalf of all of us who visited with you today I want to express our warm appreciation. I think all of us have been impressed by how vigorously and successfully the United States Navy has applied all of the modern advances in science and technology to this age-old struggle of maintenance and control of the seas.

Just as Admiral Mahan said more than 50 years ago, any country which wishes to protect its security and the security of those allied with it must maintain its position on the sea. And if there is any lesson of the 20th century, and especially of the past few years, it is that in spite of the advances in space and in the air, strategic air, this country must still move easily and safely across the seas of the world.

Events of October 1962 indicated, as they had all through history, that control of the sea means security. Control of the seas can mean peace. Control of the seas can mean victory. The United States must control the seas if it is to protect your security and those countries which stretch thousands of miles away that look to you on this ship and the sister ships of the United States Navy.

I want to express our appreciation to all of you. The sea is a friend and an enemy. Those of you who sail it, know it; those of you who sail it carry with you our warmest appreciation and our best hopes for the future.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Note: The President spoke from the flight deck of the carrier Kitty Hawk, after inspecting a new computer system aboard the carrier Oriskany during a comprehensive demonstration of weapons and tactics by ships and aircraft of Task Force 10 of the Pacific Fleet. His opening word "Admiral" referred to Adm. George W. Anderson, Chief of Naval Operations.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks Aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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