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The USS Kitty Hawk and USS Cowpens were to celebrate Independence Day on Japan’s northernmost island in the city of Otaru.

The ships’ crews, along with Carrier Air Wing 5 on the Kitty Hawk, number more than 5,300 sailors. The strike group has been underway since June 8, according to a Kitty Hawk news release.

The stop in Otaru, near Sapporo, is for rest and relaxation, and crews were to do a number of friendship activities with their hosts during the visit, said Capt. Ed McNamee, Kitty Hawk’s commanding officer in the release.

Stripes in 7

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