The U.S. military ordered the USS John F. Kennedy in April 1964 as a Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier; however, it gained its own class after the Navy made several modifications during construction. The ship was christened by President Kennedy's daughter Caroline and entered service on Sept. 7, 1968.
The first deployment of the USS John F Kennedy was to the Mediterranean Sea, where the ship served several times in the 1970s due to unrest in the Middle East. During her 12th deployment to the area, F-14 Tomcats launched from the USS John F. Kennedy destroyed two Libyan jets that were approaching the ship's battle group. In August 1990, the aircraft carrier went to the Red Sea in support of Operation Desert Shield.
The U.S. military launched planes from the USS John F. Kennedy in January 1991 at the start of Operation Desert Storm. In all, 114 planes from the carrier flew 2,895 sorties and logged 11,263 combat hours during the conflict. In 1995, the carrier became the first to serve with the Naval Reserve, and she returned to active duty in 1997.
In 1999, the USS John F. Kennedy helped enforce the no-fly zone over Iraq during Operation Southern Watch. Her last mission was to the North Ararbian Sea to support Operation Enduring Freedom, and the Navy retired the USS John F. Kennedy in 2007.