||Brad Elward, Paul Wright
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The Kitty Hawk class, a variation of the initial Forrestal design, featured a reconfigured flight deck that significantly enhanced air operations. Notably, the port elevator was moved aft of the angled deck runway and the starboard island was moved to the rear, with elevators one and rwo now forward of the island. Defensive guns were also removed and replaced by new surface-to-air missile systems. This new configuration would go on to form the basic flight deck arrangement of not only Enterprise, but also of the future Nimitz-and Gerald Ford-class carriers. The Forrestal class and the improved Kitty Hawk class, together with the single-ship-class USSJohn R Kennedy and USS Enterprise, the latter the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, constituted a large part of the United States Navy carrier forces throughout the Cold War, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the high-tension 1970s and 1980s. Collectively, these carriers made 33 deployments to Vietnam, forming the heart of the heavy carrier strike forces. Indeed, only USS John R Kennedy did not serve in Vietnam...